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

Monday - October 18, 2010

From: Redding, CA
Region: California
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Are the leaves of the Fruitless Palm Tree poisonous in Redding California?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Are Fruitless Palm Tree leaves poisonous? I was poked in the hand with a leaf of one of the branches. It was a dead leaf/Branch? Please Help!

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants certainly hopes that you are not waiting for an answer from us before seeking medical attention! Click on this link to the Mayo Clinic regarding puncture wounds before proceeding further in the answer.

The problem here is that the name  Fruitless Palm Tree is a common name (perhaps used  only locally) and is not readily findable in the data bases that we use. The family Arecaceae (aka Palmae) contains the the "Palms", and there are an estimated 2600 species worldwide, distributed generally in the tropics and subtropics. One of the most cold hardy palms is Trachycarpus fortunei whicn can be grown as far north as British Columbia. Click on the link and see if this looks like the palm that you have.

When we are asked about toxic plants, we usually go to the databases listed below.

Toxic Plants of Texas

Poisonous Plants of North Carolina

Cornell University Plants Poisonous to Livestock

University of Pennsylvania Poisonous Plants

Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System

California Poison Action Line

 

I looked through these sites, but couldn't find the palm that attacked you. The folks at the Shasta County Office of the Universisty of California Cooperative Extension could provide help with determining the botanical name of the Fruitless Palm Tree. This would make using the toxic plant databases more fruitful.

 

 

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Are Castor Bean Leaves Toxic to Pets?
September 13, 2014 - I understand that the beans of the castor plant on lethal if chewed on. Are the leaves that toxic? I would love to plant this plant and not let it flower, but I do have visiting grandchildren and dog...
view the full question and answer

Vines for a backyard pergola not toxic to dogs and cats
April 26, 2015 - We have just built a pergola in out backyard and are wanting a vine to grow up and around the posts. We have 3 dogs and also have a cat that loves to go outside. We are really looking for something th...
view the full question and answer

Are berries from the Carrot Wood Tree toxic to animals?
May 26, 2009 - Hello, I am trying to find out if the berries on the carrot wood tree are toxic to animals - dog?
view the full question and answer

Identification of a cucumber-like vine with fruit
November 16, 2011 - We found tiny, grape-size white melon-like fruit on a vine, with tomato-like/cucumber-like seeds. The leaves on the vine were similar to grape or cucumber leaves, but not spiny. They were behind our...
view the full question and answer

Native plants that will grow under alleopathic black walnut
March 03, 2007 - I have a large, beautiful black walnut tree in my yard and have trouble growing the annuals, begonia, impatients, etc., that I have always grown. They don't do well in the ground and I have resorted...
view the full question and answer

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