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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!

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

 
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Friday - May 08, 2015

From: Igo, CA
Region: California
Topic: Poisonous Plants, Problem Plants
Title: Identification of potentially toxic weed in California
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi! Sorry about the error, I'm not very computer savvy! I have a weed that grows on my land; about 1 foot tall its flower looks like a Q-tip. My neighbor says it killed her horse! I can't find it on the website or in any of my books. I can't keep up with it pulling by hand, it's everywhere! What is it and what should I do about it, if anything? Thanks! Wren

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants is sorry but your description doesn't bring any native California plant immediately to mind.  Your best bet is to contact the University of California Cooperative Extension Service in Shasta County to see if someone can identify your plant and advise you whether or not it is considered toxic to horses.  Perhaps you can photograph it and send the photo to someone in their office.  If it is toxic they will likely be able to tell you how to get rid of it.

Alternatively, you can visit our Plant Identification page where you will find plant identification forums that will accept photos of plants for identification.  After it has been identified you can search the Internet by its scientific name to determine if it is toxic.

 

 

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