List of foods from 4 sources if anyone is interested

helosoldier66

Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2018
Messages
66
Location (City and/or State)
Southern Alabama
After looking for foods that I can grow, harvest or pick up at the store I decided to make a list I could carry with me on my phone. This list consists of plants from 4 sources but I am constantly finding plants that are not listed. Here are the 4 sources I compiled from.

Arizona Exotic Animal Hospital
Russian Tortoise.Org
Susan M. Barnard. Reptile Keeper's Handbook. pp. 167-184. 1996.
Tortoise Table - The list does not include the Cacti & Succulents or Aquatic & Semi-Aquatic plants from the Tortoise Table at this time.

Yellow - DO NOT FEED
Green - SAFE. See the far right column for Tortoise Table recommendations on frequency
Orange - Conflict with Edible and Non-Edible

You will see there are some orange cells on the far right this indicates a difference between sources about edibility. If there were differences in spelling or Latin naming the refereces remained causing multiple similar entries. You judgement will be needed in that case. Entries are identified with their source in the far right column.

As a note of caution this list may contain errors so use at your own discretion. If you find an error please let me know.
 

Attachments

  • plants.pdf
    447.4 KB · Views: 75

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
91,036
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Oh man! These poor old eyes can't see that tiny, tiny font. I'm going to have to see if I can save it to Word and make it bigger.
 

CarolM

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2017
Messages
19,492
Location (City and/or State)
South Africa - Cape Town
After looking for foods that I can grow, harvest or pick up at the store I decided to make a list I could carry with me on my phone. This list consists of plants from 4 sources but I am constantly finding plants that are not listed. Here are the 4 sources I compiled from.

Arizona Exotic Animal Hospital
Russian Tortoise.Org
Susan M. Barnard. Reptile Keeper's Handbook. pp. 167-184. 1996.
Tortoise Table - The list does not include the Cacti & Succulents or Aquatic & Semi-Aquatic plants from the Tortoise Table at this time.

Yellow - DO NOT FEED
Green - SAFE. See the far right column for Tortoise Table recommendations on frequency
Orange - Conflict with Edible and Non-Edible

You will see there are some orange cells on the far right this indicates a difference between sources about edibility. If there were differences in spelling or Latin naming the refereces remained causing multiple similar entries. You judgement will be needed in that case. Entries are identified with their source in the far right column.

As a note of caution this list may contain errors so use at your own discretion. If you find an error please let me know.
Thank you for this. It is awesome. And you are a star.
 

helosoldier66

Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2018
Messages
66
Location (City and/or State)
Southern Alabama
Updated list with Tortoise Table Cacti & Succulents added. I also did a sort using the Latin names to make looking for possible matches easier if you have the Latin name. When I did the Latin sort after adding the succulents I discovered an issue. There are some plants listed as safe that my Russian tortoises love but are listed as do not feed by Tortoise Table. These plants are easily avoidable by the Russians and I have seen them taste test other varieties of plants and never eat that plant again. So now I am wondering if a tortoise knows what it can and cannot eat based on taste. I assume the DO NOT FEED would apply to someone intentionally feeding a plant to a hungry tortoise without a truly edible option. Both species I have living outdoors right now have inedible plants or leaves in the enclosure due to falling leaves or newly sprouting plants that I can't control but they do not touch any of them (I assume after they have taste tested them previously).




This file I removed everything except the Plant Name, Latin Name and Source
 

Attachments

  • Plants sorted by Latin naming.pdf
    277.9 KB · Views: 14

RosemaryDW

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Feb 17, 2016
Messages
3,978
Location (City and/or State)
Newport Coast, CA
The Tortoise Table is quite conservative. Not just with known plants; if they aren’t sure of something’s safety, they mark it as unsafe.

My Russian is wild; she had a lot of years to get a sense of what plants taste good to her and which don’t. Part of her learning might have included figuring out foods that aren’t good, health wise. Or perhaps it is something that has been picked up over generations of other tortoises and the “knowledge” passed down that way. Hard to say. We have two plants in our yard that are listed as unsafe; like yours she has tasted each one time only.

There is an interesting article pinned to the top of the Russian section that describes what they eat in the wild. Ranunculus (includes buttercups) provide a large portion of their diet but is listed clearly as a “do not feed” in the Tortoise Table. We don’t have any wild buttercups here but many owners who have them let their tortoises eat them. I would myself, if I could ever get my hands on a native one. I think it’s safe for her and I think she would enjoy it. I also feed some foods that are listed as unsafe, having done research beforehand.

On the flip side, I’ve heard some sulcatas will eat anything they see, definitely unlike my tortoise! It doesn’t seem they have that same instinct.

For that reason I always think it’s wise for a new owner to be cautious and get a sense of what they are comfortable over time. Since you’ve included that orange column indicating plants with conflicting information, it should be easier for them to make decisions about those foods.

Thank you again for creating this list.
 

helosoldier66

Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2018
Messages
66
Location (City and/or State)
Southern Alabama
The Tortoise Table is quite conservative. Not just with known plants; if they aren’t sure of something’s safety, they mark it as unsafe.

My Russian is wild; she had a lot of years to get a sense of what plants taste good to her and which don’t. Part of her learning might have included figuring out foods that aren’t good, health wise. Or perhaps it is something that has been picked up over generations of other tortoises and the “knowledge” passed down that way. Hard to say. We have two plants in our yard that are listed as unsafe; like yours she has tasted each one time only.

There is an interesting article pinned to the top of the Russian section that describes what they eat in the wild. Ranunculus (includes buttercups) provide a large portion of their diet but is listed clearly as a “do not feed” in the Tortoise Table. We don’t have any wild buttercups here but many owners who have them let their tortoises eat them. I would myself, if I could ever get my hands on a native one. I think it’s safe for her and I think she would enjoy it. I also feed some foods that are listed as unsafe, having done research beforehand.

On the flip side, I’ve heard some sulcatas will eat anything they see, definitely unlike my tortoise! It doesn’t seem they have that same instinct.

For that reason I always think it’s wise for a new owner to be cautious and get a sense of what they are comfortable over time. Since you’ve included that orange column indicating plants with conflicting information, it should be easier for them to make decisions about those foods.

Thank you again for creating this list.

I agree that they seem to have a genetic memory for plants. I have noticed my Russians doing the same thing with tasting a plant and never touching it again. I know the sources also mention they eat grasses but mine seem to ignore all types of grass and go for large leafed plants. I planted in excess of 20 different plants in each of 2 enclosures and they only seem to eat about 4 different types and only 1 or 2 of those down to nothing. I hope someone gets some use out of the list I know it makes plant selection for me easier.
 

RosemaryDW

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Feb 17, 2016
Messages
3,978
Location (City and/or State)
Newport Coast, CA
I I planted in excess of 20 different plants in each of 2 enclosures and they only seem to eat about 4 different types and only 1 or 2 of those down to nothing.

Mine also has a propensity to focus only on a few plants, especially once her spring “rush” is over and it gets hot.
 
Top