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
1 rating

Friday - March 01, 2013

From: Littleton, CO
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Edible Plants, Medicinal Plants
Title: Food and medicinal value of Parsley Hawthorn
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I have found several sites that talk about how the parsley hawthorn is edible and how the hawthorn berry in general is really great for the heart, but I did not find any mention of this on your info about it. Is there any reason for this?

ANSWER:

Great question!  The information in the Native Plant Database has been compiled over a number of years by a large number of people.  The researchers who gathered the data for Parsley Hawthorn either did not find the same information you did, or chose not to enter it. 

While the first scenario is self-explanatory, the second one probably requires further discussion.  In general, information found on the Internet alone does not make it into the NPIN Database.  Exceptions would be information found in online government, university or scientific publications.  While private websites often contain excellent information, they also often present misleading or outright incorrect information.

The edibility and especially the medicinal value of plants are especially sensitive topics.  For example, I enjoy eating peanuts and other types of nuts.  Some people are violently allergic to them.  If I was unaware of the existence of this particular food allergy and wrote that peanuts are not only edible, but delicious, I might imperil someone by mentioning their value as a food.  The same holds true for the medicinal value of plants and plant parts. 

Further, some plants must be prepared in a very specific way to be edible or to yield the desired medicinal results.  If not prepared properly, a plant that may have a very positive benefit might actually poison someone who reads of it in the NPIN Native Plant Database and eats it.  We would be horrified to know that something we posted in our data was responsible for someone's poisoning or other malady.  That is why, in general, we avoid making any claims especially about the potential medicinal value of any plant.

 

From the Image Gallery


Parsley hawthorn
Crataegus marshallii

Parsley hawthorn
Crataegus marshallii

More Edible Plants Questions

Identification of shrub/small tree with small purple fruit
July 31, 2013 - Hi! I have a tree/bush that has come up on its own in the backyard. This year it set what looks like small purple plums. Is there any chance that they might be poisonous?
view the full question and answer

Mulching vegetables with straw
June 13, 2007 - I have a small garden with 4 different veggies, tomatoes, hot peppers, squash & cucumbers. which plants is it OK to put straw under? which plants will straw hurt the stalks or other possibilities? tha...
view the full question and answer

Looking for a supplier for Mustang Grape vine in Austin, TX>
April 02, 2012 - I'm looking for a supplier in Austin that will have a Mustang Grape Vine seed or plant for purchase. I found Natives of Texas in Kerrville, but if you know of a supplier in Austin, that would be pre...
view the full question and answer

Information about Citrus mitis
June 26, 2008 - I was given a Citrus Mitis plant. It has beautiful white flowers and delicious looking tiny oranges.everyone in my office is asking if they're edible?
view the full question and answer

Edible plants beginning with I, T, X and Z in Colorado
March 26, 2009 - My friend would like to know a fruit or vegetable that he would plant in his garden and come back yearly. The plants would have to start with the letters I,T,X, & Z. It has to be edible, of course.
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