Rent Shop 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
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - May 08, 2013

From: Pflugerville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Edible Plants, Poisonous Plants, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Effects of Hedysarum mackenzii from Pflugerville TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What are the effects of Hedysarum mackenzii?

ANSWER:

Since this plant is found in far northern Alaska and Canada, it is not likely to show up in Travis or Williamson Counties; plus, you did not give us a valid e-mail address so this probably will not get back to you anyway, but we try to give all questions as much of an answer as we can.

One souce we consulted (Wikipedia) said: "Hedysarum (Sweetvetch) is a genus of the botanical family Fabaceae, consisting of about 309 species of annual or perennial herbs in Asia, Europe, North Africa, and North America." This article also said it needed documentation, which we believe to be true. As a member of the Fabaceae (pea) family, it is related to the bluebonnet, and pictures we found of the bloom somewhat resembled the iconic Texas wildflower.

However, further research on our part found several articles recounting Native Americans' use of the plant in Alaska and Canada. The plant does not appear in our Native Plant Database nor in the USDA Plants website, which is the basis for our information. Here are some links to sites we found with more information:

From wikispaces.com Hedysarum mackenzii vs. Hedysarum alpinum

From the Ethnobotany Journal: Is Hedysarum mackenziei (yes, that's how they spelled it) (Wild Sweet Pea) actually toxic?

From the Circle District Historical Society of Central Alaska Hedysarum mackenzii.

Your question was "What is the effect of Hedysarum mackenzii?  Since the experts don't seem to be able to agree on whether it is poisonous or not, we really don't know. We do feel relatively sure you are not likely to stumble on it in Central Texas.

 

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Giant Thistle-Like Plant from Elgin, TX
June 01, 2014 - I have a giant thistle like plant in my field we have been unable to identify. It looks like a milk thistle but it is short..only about a foot tall..stocky...and the flowers are giant..about 6 to 8 i...
view the full question and answer

Is Canna glauca invasive?
June 10, 2015 - How aggressive is Canna glauca? I'm interested in planting one near a gutter downspout, but I'm afraid it will crowd out groundcovers (heartleaf skullcap and fall obedient plant) in the two location...
view the full question and answer

How do Venus flytraps really work?
May 13, 2010 - How do venus flytraps *really* work? I've read it has something to do with the hairs in their "mouth," but is there a chemical reaction going on? A physical "trigger"? Help me understand the Venu...
view the full question and answer

Low maintenance grass for shade in Conroe, TX
September 15, 2012 - What is the best low maintenance grass to plant in front lawn shaded, no traffic area?
view the full question and answer

Native violets under maples from Gettysburg PA
July 06, 2012 - Just for your info (no need to post or reply), I saw an old post of a question of something to grow under maples. In central PA, native violets grow very well under several species of maples in lawns...
view the full question and answer

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