Weeds

Jentortmom

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Does anyone know if Erect spiderling weed is safe for tortoises? I know spider plants are, and that's the only answer pulling up in research.
 

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Tom

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Does anyone know if Erect spiderling weed is safe for tortoises? I know spider plants are, and that's the only answer pulling up in research.
I don't know that one. If you don't get an answer here, take a sample to a local nursery and see if they have a local plant nerd that can offer some help. Not a hardware store, but an actual local plant nursery.
 

TisMary

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Does anyone know if Erect spiderling weed is safe for tortoises? I know spider plants are, and that's the only answer pulling up in research.
Well, I did a little sleuthing on the USDA Plant Database and see that this plant (Botanical name: Boerhavia erecta) is a member of the Four O'clock Family (Nyctaginaceae). Then I looked at the The Tortoise Table Plant Database. I did not find Erect spiderling per se (but I think your ID is spot on from what I can tell), I did find the Family listed there. Personally, I would pass on this plant altogether, but TTT says "we advise that you err on the side of caution and not feed this plant to your tortoise, although if the odd leaf or flower is nibbled it should not be a problem." Good luck and thanks for taking the time to check it out first! 😉
 

Jentortmom

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Well, I did a little sleuthing on the USDA Plant Database and see that this plant (Botanical name: Boerhavia erecta) is a member of the Four O'clock Family (Nyctaginaceae). Then I looked at the The Tortoise Table Plant Database. I did not find Erect spiderling per se (but I think your ID is spot on from what I can tell), I did find the Family listed there. Personally, I would pass on this plant altogether, but TTT says "we advise that you err on the side of caution and not feed this plant to your tortoise, although if the odd leaf or flower is nibbled it should not be a problem." Good luck and thanks for taking the time to check it out first! 😉
Thank you, I will just pull and toss then.
 

Jentortmom

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I don't know that one. If you don't get an answer here, take a sample to a local nursery and see if they have a local plant nerd that can offer some help. Not a hardware store, but an actual local plant nursery.
Thank you for the advice, based on the other response, I will just pull. But I will let the dt have the purslane that popped up.
 

RosemaryDW

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The science in the Tortoise Table can be a little suspect. Or a lot suspect depending on what you're checking into. There isn't any evidence that four o'clock plants have done tortoises any harm.

You have a desert tortoise (if that's what dt means in your last post) and that plant is in their native diet.

In fact if I painfully (!) track down research on this plant in a research book on the Natural History, Biology, and Conservation of the Sonoran Desert Tortoise:
I find that it can make up a significant part of the diet:

"Spiderling (Boerhavia erecta) was a common (12.7 percent) summer annual in summer scats. After fragment analyses, all of the fecal material from the pellets in each sample was combined into seven samples for microhistological analyses ..."

I would say let your tortoise enjoy, if they are interested. No need to analyze scat, however! :)

My Russian also occasionally enjoys a bite from the beautiful desert wishbone, another four o'clock. In case you have a Russian floating around.

P.S. that book has a ton of native plant foods in it if you wanted to take a look.
 
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Jentortmom

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The science in the Tortoise Table can be a little suspect. Or a lot suspect depending on what you're checking into. There isn't any evidence that four o'clock plants have done tortoises any harm.

You have a desert tortoise (if that's what dt means in your last post) and that plant is in their native diet.

In fact if I painfully (!) track down research on this plant in a research book on the Natural History, Biology, and Conservation of the Sonoran Desert Tortoise:
I find that it can make up a significant part of the diet:

"Spiderling (Boerhavia erecta) was a common (12.7 percent) summer annual in summer scats. After fragment analyses, all of the fecal material from the pellets in each sample was combined into seven samples for microhistological analyses ..."

I would say let your tortoise enjoy, if they are interested. No need to analyze scat, however! :)

My Russian also occasionally enjoys a bite from the beautiful desert wishbone, another four o'clock. In case you have a Russian floating around.

P.S. that book has a ton of native plant foods in it if you wanted to take a look.
Thank you for this information. Yes I have desert tortoise among many others including Russian. Unfortunately the spiderling plant was pulled already. But they did get Mexican petunia and DT got purslane. I will look at the book.
 
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