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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 is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - September 23, 2008

From: Goose Creek, SC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Is the mimosa tree poisonous?
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Is the mimosa tree poisonous ? If you burn the trimmed limbs is the smoke noxious ?

ANSWER:

There are mimosa plants (Genus Mimosa) that are native to North America, but I suspect you are referring to the non-native, invasive mimosa, also called silk tree (Albizia julibrissin).  I could find no listing in my favorite toxic plant databases for the native mimosas.  However, I did find an entry in the Texas Toxic Plant Database for Albizia julibrissin indicating that the beans when ingested are a neurotoxin for livestock and dogs. There is a tree, another non-native, that is poisonous and burning the plant produces toxic smoke—oleander (Nerium oleander).  See the entries in the Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System and in Poisonous Plants of the Southeastern United States.  You can check the following databases:

Poisonous Plants of North Carolina

Cornell University Plants Poisonous to Livestock

University of Pennsylvania's Poisonous Plants

Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System

Poisonous Plants of the Southeastern United States

Texas Toxic Plant Database
 

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