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
1 rating

Wednesday - April 10, 2013

From: Friendswood, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Poisonous Plants, Shrubs
Title: Toxicity of non-native red-tip photinia to fish from Friendswood TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Mr. Smarty Plants, I have seen several questions on Red Tip Photinia (RTP) concerning toxicity to horses, dogs and children. We recently lost over 100 gold fish and 6 large KOI in our man made back yard pond that we have had 8 years. I see an abundance of the RTP blossoms in the pond and an oil sheen in the water. My question is, are this blossoms toxic to fish?

ANSWER:

Here is a previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer that tells you what we think of Red-Tip Photinias. As it happens, we are committed to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which those plants grow natively; in your case, Galveston and Harris Counties. PLANTS, that is, we don't know much of anything about fish except how to fry them.

We found a website from the Koi and Water Garden Society of Central New York on Plants Poisonous to Fish. Photinia is not on that list; in fact, we don't think we have seen it claimed to be poisonous to horses, dogs and children. We think you should look around at some websites on possible contamination on the water in that pool. We have no experience with fish ponds, having grown up in West Texas, where there is not much water for anything, but it occurs to us that the oil sheen in the water would be a warning sign, and not something that could have been caused by the photinia. For instance, has anyone been spraying pesticides and/or herbicides in your area lately?

 

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Alpacas poisoned in pasture in Texas
October 26, 2008 - Two of my alpacas were poisoned by something growing in two of my pastures. One of the suspects is cussus trifoliata, aka, cow itch vine, sorrelvine. I have searched diligently and can find no refere...
view the full question and answer

Is any part of Mountain Laurel poisonous to goats from Belton TX
May 02, 2013 - We are considering planting Mountain Laurel in a field where we keep goats. Will any part of the Mountain Laurel be poisonous if eaten by the goats? If it would be poisonous, could you suggest some o...
view the full question and answer

Are Viguiera dentate leaves toxic to dogs?
November 26, 2014 - Many dogs on the Turkey Creek Nature Trail in Emma Long Metropolitan Park love to snack on the leaves of the Viguiera Dentata plants. The leaves SEEM to be harmless. I am writing to request informat...
view the full question and answer

Remedy for sore finger scratched by an Agave plant
October 18, 2013 - I scratched my ring finger on a Agave plant this afternoon. It did bring blood to the surface and i washed it off. Where the scratch is, is very tender and it is swollen and tingles. Any suggestions f...
view the full question and answer

Source for seeds of New Mexico locust from Abilene TX
October 23, 2012 - Is there a place to buy Robinia neomexicana native to Texas or order seed from Texas grown plants?
view the full question and answer

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