Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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
3 ratings

Friday - July 25, 2008

From: Comanche, OK
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Plant called cow shade or cow weed that is poisonous
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

There is a plant called cow shade or cow weed, not exactly sure. It kills whitetail deer. I would like to know the name of the plant and the specifics. If you could help me it would be greatly appreciated. These plants grow in Oklahoma. thank you.

ANSWER:

I think you must mean Cicuta maculata (spotted water hemlock or cowbane). This is listed as one of the most toxic plants in the US. Its root resembles a parsnip and humans have died after eating only a few bites of the root. It is native to Oklahoma and here are more photos and information. Two other plants with this common name, Oxypolis rigidior (stiff cowbane) and Oxypolis filiformis (water cowbane), resemble Cicuta maculata but are not poisonous.

 


Cicuta maculata

Cicuta maculata

Cicuta maculata
 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Part sun and part shade
October 19, 2004 - What is the difference between part sun and part shade?
view the full question and answer

Drought & Deer Resistant Shrub for Shade in Medina, TX
June 14, 2013 - We are dedicated to native plants in Medina, but are desperate to find a drought and deer resistant shrub for shade. Would we be too far off base with an oleander bush? We know birds and most butterfl...
view the full question and answer

Drought-tolerant plants for deep shade in Florida
June 23, 2012 - I am looking for indigenous, drought tolerant, leafy dense plants (kind of hosta like) that will grow in deep shade (under a tree that gets little sun) in Jacksonville, Florida.
view the full question and answer

Spring blooming plants for spring sun and summer shade
July 03, 2007 - I live in San Antonio. I'm faced with a dilemma. I've got mature native pecans. In the summer they provide beautiful full shade. However, in the winter and even into the late spring, my yard is ...
view the full question and answer

Shade plants for a childrens garden in Magnolia, TX
June 21, 2009 - What shade plants would be good to plant in a Children's garden at a learning center?
view the full question and answer

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