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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Sunday - October 27, 2013

From: Leonardtown, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Poisonous Plants, Trees
Title: Are bald cypress cones toxic to dogs?
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Are bald cypress tree seed pods poisonous? to dogs? We just got a rescue dog and we go out in the yard with her. But now that we are into fall and the pods are falling. She goes right to them. Are they poisonous?

ANSWER:

Taxodium distichum (Bald cypress) is not found on the ASPCA's Toxic and Non-Toxic Plant List – Dogs.  Neither is it found on any of the following "toxic plants" databases:

Poisonous Plants of North Carolina

Cornell University's Plants Poisonous to Livestock

Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System

University of Illinois' Plants Toxic to Animals

University of Pennsylvania's Poisonous Plants database

Plants of Texas Rangelands – Toxics

The fact that a plant doesn't appear on a toxic plant database doesn't guarantee that the plant is completely non-toxic.   However, with a plant so widespread and well-known as bald cypress, the fact that it is not named as being even mildly toxic is a very good sign.   However, if you are concerned for your dog, you could pick up as many of the cones as possible and discard them.

 

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