En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - December 06, 2012

From: Arlington, TN
Region: Southeast
Topic: Poisonous Plants, Trees
Title: Cypress poisonous to livestock from Arlington, TN
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Are green giant cypress poisonous to livestock?

ANSWER:

Before we could attempt to answer your question, we had to figure out what a green giant cypress is. Turns out the "Green Giant" is a trade name for Thuja standishii x plicata. The little "x" in the scientific name is our first clue that this is a cross or hybridization between two species of the genus Thuja and the family Cupressaceae. Most such crosses fall out of the expertise of Smarty Plants, which is the growth, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they grow naturally. Crossing two plants always complicates knowing what the characteristics of the resulting plant will be. In our Native Plant Database there is Thuja plicata (Western arborvitae); if you follow the plant link you will see it does not mention any poisonous attributes. Neither this website nor that of Thuja occidentalis (Arborvitae) mention wildlife browsing these trees, which could indicate the spikiness of the plants discouraged browsing, so the cows might not even want it. However, just to make sure, we investigated the "sandishii" part of the Green Giant hybrid. This website from the US National Arboretum also indicates no poisonous parts of the plant, which originated in the Honshu and Shikoku islands of southern Japan.

If you wish to double check on our information, here is a list of websites listing poisonous plants:

Databases to search (by scientific name) for plants poisonous to animals:

The Merck Veterinary Manual

ASPCA   

University of Arkansas 
 
University of Illinois  (common names only)    

Toxic Plants of Texas

Poisonous Plants of North Carolina 

Cornell University Plants Poisonous to Livestock

University of Pennsylvania Poisonous Plants

Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System

California Poison Action Line

FInding the plant listed is a good indication of toxicity. However, not finding the plant listed doesn't guarantee that it is non-toxic, but it increases the probability that it is. It is a good idea to check with your veterinarian.

 

 

More Trees Questions

Plants for full-sun landscape
November 20, 2007 - I live in a very rocky area just outside of Fort Worth, TX. It's taken me all spring, summer & now I'm going into the fall, to landscape just 30 feet in front of my house. The front of the house get...
view the full question and answer

Trees for shade in Austin
May 20, 2012 - I live in Austin and I am looking for a good tree to plant under a large live oak I have in my backyard. Something slow-growing of course and, the garden only gets late day sun for about an hour. Filt...
view the full question and answer

Selecting landscape trees for Denton Co., TX
August 11, 2006 - I live in Denton County and I'm trying to select a few trees to plant in my yard. I'd like them to be native or at least "antique" (hardy varieties which have adapted to the conditions without bec...
view the full question and answer

Bird-attracting trees in Marble Falls TX
May 24, 2010 - What fruiting trees/shrubs other than red mulberry are good to attract native birds (and for bird watching opportunities)? We'd prefer native species, but does white mulberry attract as many bird sp...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen ornamental tree choice in northern Indiana
June 10, 2009 - Can you please advise on growing Lemon Cypress trees outdoors in zones 5/6 zip code 46311
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center