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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - April 22, 2010

From: New Orleans, LA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Is Florida anisetree appropriate for school planting in New Orleans?
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Illicium floridanum, Florida anisetree We are considering using this plant for a landscape at a school. I have been informed that it is poisonous, but not by a reliable source. I am otherwise very familiar with the plant. Is it an appropriate shrub for a school landscape. If not, do you have any other evergreen shrubs that you would recommend? Thank you very much,

ANSWER:

We found only two websites that referred to Illicium floridanum (Florida anisetree) as poisonous; one was Floridata "WARNING: This plant is toxic! Do not ingest. It is not a substitute for the culinary spice and flavorings obtained from Illicium verum," and the other Plants for a Future. "Although no mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, at least one other member of the genus has a fruit that is poisonous in quantity."

So, we went to our lists of Poisonous Plants for North America, and checked each for Illicium floridanum (Florida anisetree).  You can use the same procedure and the same lists to check other plants. We found no further indications of this plant being poisonous in any of these databases.

Poisonous Plants in North America:

Toxic and Non-Toxic Plant List—Horses 

Poisonous Plants of North Carolina

Cornell University Plants Poisonous to Livestock

Toxic Plants of Texas 

University of Pennsylvania Poisonous Plants

Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System 

Toxic Plants from the University of California-Davis

Pennsylvania's Poisonous Plants from the Universtiy of Pennsylvania

Cornell University Plants Poisonous to Livestock

ASPCA list of Plants Toxic to Horses

Horse Nutrition: Poisonous Plants from Ohio State University Extension Service

10 Most Poisonous Plants for Horses from Equisearch 

PullmanUSA - plants poisonous to both cats and dogs  

As for whether Illicium floridanum (Florida anisetree) is appropriate for a school landscape, you probably are a better judge of that than we are, as you are familiar both with the site and with the plant. You can follow the plant link above to our page on this plant to see what it requires in terms of sun, moisture, soil and so forth. If you decide it is not acceptable, go to our Recommended Species section, select Louisiana, and follow instructions to find other shrubs more appropriate. We would like to note that one of the common names for this plant is "stinkbush."

From our Native Plant Database:


Illicium floridanum

Illicium floridanum

Illicium floridanum

Illicium floridanum

 

 




 

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Are palm leaves poisonous?
August 25, 2009 - I live in a second story house surronded by various types of palm trees on the west coast of Florida. My 1 year old son crawls on the decks and tries to taste all of the palm leaves that sneak through...
view the full question and answer

Identity of plant with thorns in Maryland
August 27, 2013 - I live in Maryland and was walking in the woods one day when I accidentally stumbled in to a thorn bush. I don't remember what color the thorns where or very much about the plant in general but I do ...
view the full question and answer

Is the fruit of Bradford Pears toxic to dogs?
November 16, 2010 - I need to know if the little Berries on the Bradford Pear trees are toxic to dogs? My labrador loves eating them. Thank you,
view the full question and answer

Is Clethra alnifolia toxic to dogs?
June 01, 2013 - Is Clethra alnifolia toxic to dogs?
view the full question and answer

Are mountain laurel beans safe to use as rattles with small children?
September 19, 2012 - Is it safe to use the mountain laurel mescalbean pods as shakers or rattles, as long as the pods are not open and the seeds left unexposed? If a small child (very small, who has no way to open the ...
view the full question and answer

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