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?


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


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?


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 Medicinal Plants Questions

Yucca plant for horse joint problems
October 21, 2008 - is the yucca plant the same as what the joint medication is made of to give to older horses for the joints, and if so, can a plant be nibbled on when it grows in the pasture?
view the full question and answer

How to grow Blue Cohosh in Lewisville TX
May 05, 2010 - I bought Blue Cohosh seeds from an online website, but I do not know how or where to plant them and what will guarantee germination, and the instructions that came with the package are very vague. The...
view the full question and answer

medicinal uses of Rudbeckia triloba
September 16, 2009 - Browneyed Susan, Brown-eyed-Susan, Thin-leaved coneflower, Three-lobed Rudbeckia Rudbeckia triloba L My question relates to the above species. I am doing research on historically medicinal plants...
view the full question and answer

Tree that successfully treats psoriasis
January 31, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty plants,I have a rather unusual question. Do you know of a tree/plant that you can grow in a container, looks like a conifer/evergreen, is green, has wispy looking branches, but when t...
view the full question and answer

Medicinal uses of Orange jewelweed (Impatiens capensis)
August 28, 2005 - What is the best way to extract the juice from the jewelweed plant? And, what can you do with it after that? I know it is considered a remedy for poison ivy and various other skin irritations. So then...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center