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
14 ratings

Friday - September 09, 2011

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: What to do if Mexican buckeye seeds are eaten
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What to do if seeds of the Mexican buckeye are eaten? I didn't know they were toxic. Please let me know as soon as you can. Thank you

ANSWER:

Ungnadia speciosa (Mexican buckeye) is, indeed, toxic.   If you haven't already gone to your doctor or to an emergency clinic, you should go immediately and tell exactly what you ate.  Identify it by the botanical name.  They will have the information on how to treat you.

Here is information from the US Forest Service Database:

"Toxicity:  The sweet seeds of Mexican buckeye taste like pistachio nuts
and were formerly considered as a potential human food source [19].
Stanford [19] and his colleagues reportedly consumed up to 20 seeds
without suffering ill effects.  However, results of laboratory tests
with rats soon put an end to these culinary experiments.  Rats which had
ingested Mexican buckeye seeds soon exhibited numerous signs of both
neurological and organ damage and most died within 3 weeks [19].  Seeds
can cause dizziness, nausea, and abdominal discomfort in humans [6,16]."

My advice to you is not to try eating any parts of plants you are not familiar with unless you have determined for sure that they are NOT toxic.

 

From the Image Gallery


Mexican buckeye
Ungnadia speciosa

Mexican buckeye
Ungnadia speciosa

Mexican buckeye
Ungnadia speciosa


More Poisonous Plants Questions

Does non-native Crown of Thorns cause cancer?
August 24, 2013 - Does the plant, Corona De Cristo (Crown of thorns) cause cancer?
view the full question and answer

Plant identification for shrub in Florida
September 03, 2011 - On our street we have ornamental shrub planted in the median that has small waxy green leaves, produces small fragrant white flowers, and red berries with white pulp and small seeds on the inside. Th...
view the full question and answer

Bugbane Leaf Blotch
January 24, 2013 - My bugbanes (Cimicifuga/Actaea) seem to suffer from black blotches on the leaves in the summer. This happens even when they have adequate moisture. I also see it on the ones growing wild. Is this a fu...
view the full question and answer

Is Bignonia capreolata (crossvine) poisonous?
March 18, 2012 - I need to know whether any part of Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata) is poisonous. Am thinking of planting it at an Elder Day Center for people with memory problems and the director insists - no toxic ...
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

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