Contact Us Host an Event 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

Wednesday - July 09, 2008

From: Bogart, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Pink flower in South Carolina, perhaps poisonous
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I saw a beautiful plant while touring Charleston, SC. I do not remember the name - the tour guide talked about a long time ago women giving it to their husband's in tea (maybe?) to kill them. Of course this wasn't true. It had really pretty pink flowers & looked tropical. I'd love to plant some by my pool, can you help me find what they are?? Thanks!

ANSWER:

Hmm... Mr. Smarty Plants wonders if we need to let your husband know about this!

One possibility is the non-native Nerium oleander (oleander), which is extremely toxic. You can read about it in these toxic plant databases: Poisonous Plants of North Carolina, Cornell University Poisonous Plants Informational Database and Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System.

Here are a few other possibilities:

Dicentra spp. (bleeding heart, Dutchman's breeches) native

Kalmia angustifolia, (Lambkill, sheep laurel) native

Daphne genkwa (lilac daphne) introduced from China

Mandevilla spp. (mandevilla) introduced from Central and South America

Podophyllum peltatum (mayapple, mandrake) native

Rhododendron spp. (rhododendrons, azaleas) native and introduced from Asia

In case it is a native plant, here is a way you can search for it yourself in our Native Plant Database. Do a Combination Search, selecting 'South Carolina' from the Select State or Province category and select 'Pink' from the Bloom Characteristics Color. You can also select 'Herb', 'Shrub', or 'Tree' from Habit (general appearance) category to narrow your search further.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification for Beeville, TX
May 14, 2011 - Today in Beeville, TX I came across a plant that looks like a grass, but has a small black and white dotted flower. The flower looks like an orchid. Could you identify this or give me direction as t...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 07, 2010 - There are large trees with brilliant orange flowers around Naples FL. Can you tell me what this is?
view the full question and answer

Identification of shrub in South Carolina
December 12, 2011 - First, I'm in Iraq but trying to write a book and have a question on a plant that grows in South Carolina. All I can do is describe it. The bush is normally green but turns red, has large leaves, kin...
view the full question and answer

Backward blooming Jack-in-the-pulpit
April 18, 2008 - why does my jack in the pulpit plant bloom backwards
view the full question and answer

Plant with stalk of purple berries
August 27, 2008 - I have a plant that just grows.large hollow purple stalk, purple berries in long clusters , grows very tall any thoughts.. it grows like a weed
view the full question and answer

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