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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.

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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.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Saturday - May 11, 2013

From: Trenton, NJ
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Springbeauty in New Jersey and Dog Allergies
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

Is Claytonia virginica in New Jersey and could my dog be allergic to it?

ANSWER:

Yes, Claytonia virginica (Virginia springbeauty) can be found in New Jersey. Take a look at the USDA distribution map and you will see that this springbeauty has a large distribution range throughout the eastern half of the United States and into Ontario and Quebec.

In looking at the toxicity of this plant, Virginia springbeauty is listed as having edible leaves, flowering stems and roots on the Plants for a Future website. It has been a longtime staple of foragers.

The ASPCA list of toxic plants for dogs does not include Claytonia virginica.

Tom Ogren has some information on his Allergy-Free Gardening website about plants that cause allergies in dogs. Once again Claytonia is not mentioned, so if you suspect your dog has allergies, it may be other pollen-producing plants such as junipers, mulberries, grasses, oaks… (the same plants that cause allergies in humans).

 

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Virginia springbeauty
Claytonia virginica

Virginia springbeauty
Claytonia virginica

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