Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

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.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Sunday - June 08, 2008

From: Palmdale, CA
Region: California
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Plum trees (Prunus spp.) poisonous to horses
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Are fruitless plum trees poisonous to horses

ANSWER:

I am supposing your fruitless plum is Purple Pony Cherry Plum (Prunus cerasifera). At any rate, I am sure it is a member of the genus Prunus which includes peaches, plums, apricots, cherries and chokecherries. P. cerasifera is not listed specifically in any poisonous plants database, but many other members of the genus are listed and all have the same warning about the ingestion of leaves, twigs or seeds of fruit. These parts of the plants contain cyanogenic glycoside or cyanogens that are highly toxic and may be fatal if eaten. Cyanogenic glycosides are changed into free cyanide either in plant material that has been damaged or in the gastrointestinal tracts of animals. It is most severe in ruminants (cattle, sheep, goats, deer) but is also very dangerous for animals with single stomachs (e.g., dogs, cats, horses, pigs).

See the following poisonous plants websites for information about the Prunus spp.:

Texas Toxic Plant Database

University of Pennsylvania Poisonous Plants

Cornell University Poisonous Plants Informational Database

Poisonous Plants of North Carolina

Indiana Plants Poisonous to Livestock and Pets

Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System

If there is a Prunus spp. tree in the field where the horse is to be pastured, I believe I would remove the tree or move the horse to a different pasture. This is especially so if it is a small pasture where the horse is more likely to come in contact with the tree or if other vegetation is sparse so that the horse would consider eating leaves off the tree.

 

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Palm tip wound in Sacramento CA
June 25, 2009 - My husband was stuck in his calf with a palm leaf, he is now complaining of stiffness where it went in, is there any kind of poison in it?
view the full question and answer

Is Texas ragwort (Senecio ampullaceus) toxic to livestock?
May 05, 2009 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a question related to Texas Ragwort (Senecio ampullaceus): I am concerned about toxicity to livestock as well as interested in natural control methods. I was recentl...
view the full question and answer

Alternative to Carolina Cherry Laurel in Cedar Park TX
May 10, 2010 - I love the look of the Carolina Cherry Laurel but hear that its berries are poisonous and can harm my dog if he eats them. What are some other alternatives that have a similar look; I'm looking for ...
view the full question and answer

Is carrotwood poisonous to Boston Terrier in Rancho Cucamonga CA?
July 20, 2009 - My Boston Terrier always goes to our carrotwood tree and licks the base. He gets so excited that he drools all over the place? Why does this tree cause this reaction in our dog? Is it poisonous to ...
view the full question and answer

Is Savannah Holly poisonous to burn in Hanahan, SC.?
August 20, 2011 - Can you please tell me if the wood from a savannah holly bush is poisonous to burn?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.