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

Dodder, rootless, leafless, parisitic twining plants
May 29, 2006 - Hello, I have been studying wildflowers in California for many years. Yesterday I came across a surprise and I am thus far unable to identify it. As it is raining today, I cannot get a photo, but I...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification, possibly Phytolacca americana (American pokeweed)
September 07, 2010 - What wild growing plant has dark purple berries with a pinkish stem? The purple berries grow on their own stem and not in among the leaves, the leaves are green.
view the full question and answer

Identity of plant at funeral that smells similar to honeysuckle
April 04, 2013 - What plant or flower smells similar to honeysuckle? I live in Ohio and I smelled some kind of flower or plant at a friends funeral last spring that smelled similar to honeysuckle. It was...
view the full question and answer

Unidentified stalk, possibly manfreda, from San Marcos TX
May 23, 2014 - I had a very weird stalk pop up in my yard in San Marcos TX this month (May 2014) It bloomed very quickly and appears to be a manfreda but there is no rosette, or leaves of any kind - just the thick o...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 10, 2010 - I have a tall leafy green plant growing in my garden. It has long flowering limbs that bear a pod that looks like a tiny green pepper. It then turns purple and falls off. The flower that remains is...
view the full question and answer

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