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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 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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
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Friday - June 20, 2014

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification, Poisonous Plants
Title: Identification of possible toxic plant in Austin, TX
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

When we hike with our dogs along Turkey Creek in Austin, they seem to make a bee line to a small green leafy plant when they find it along the trail and eat a few leaves of it. We assume it's not dangerous for them to eat a little, but we don't know what it is. Also, it seems to us that they get a little foamy around their mouths after eating it (though maybe it's just them getting excited about the walk!). I have a photo of it, but I don't know how to upload it. Thank you!

ANSWER:

We no longer accept photos for identification. It was fun to do, but it took an inordinate of our time.  I’m going to suggest that you go to our  Identification Page   and scroll down to the Plant Identification box. There are several forums listed there where you can send images for identification.Pay careful attention to the Important Notes for sending images.

Once you have the plant identified,  check through these database to see if it is listed there
Poisonous Plants of North Carolina

Cornell University's Plants Poisonous to Livestock

Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System

University of Illinois' Plants Toxic to Animals

University of Pennsylvania's Poisonous Plants database

Plants of Texas Rangelands – Toxics

The fact that a plant doesn't appear on a toxic plant database doesn't guarantee that the plant is completely non-toxic.  Have you also checked with your veterinarian?

 

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