En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - December 12, 2013

From: Silverado, CA
Region: California
Topic: Poisonous Plants, Vines
Title: Vines for fence, safe for horses in California
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in a fire prone part of Orange County, CA named Silverado and own horses. Am interested in fast growing vines to cover a fenced area which are horse safe. Thank you.

ANSWER:

Both The Theodore Payne Foundation (located in Sun Valley) and Las Pilitas Nursery (located in Santa Margarita and Escondido) have lists of commercially available California native plants that can be used as a vine.  You can also get a list of California native vines from our Native Plant Database by using the COMBINATION SEARCH feature and choosing "California" from the Select State or Province box and "Vine" from Habit (general appearance).  This will give you a list of 50 native California vines.   However, they are not all commericially available.   Some are not suitable for a fence and a few are toxic to horses.  You can look through the list, however, and see if there are some that appeal to you.   You would then need to check them against toxic plant databases such as:

For your searches in the toxic plant databases, I recommend using the more precise botanical name rather than the variable common name.  Here are some recommendations of vines or vine-like shrubs that are native to Orange County and are not found on any of the above toxic plant databases:

Calystegia macrostegia (Island false bindweed)  Here is more information from Las Pilitas Nursery and here is information from The Theodore Payne Foundation about a cultivar, Calystegia marcrostegia 'Anacapa Pink'.  They also have more subspecies of this morning glory.

Vitis girdiana (Desert wild grape)  Here is more information from  Las Pilitas Nursery.   The Theodore Payne Foundation says that the fruits are toxic to dogs. 

Vitis californica (California grape) Here is more information from Las Pilitas Nursery.   Theodore Payne Foundation says that the fruits are toxic to dogs.

Lonicera subspicata (Chaparral honeysuckle) is an evergreen vine-like shrub that can be trained to climb on a fence.  Here are a couple of varieties from The Theodore Payne Foundation website:

Lonicera hispidula (Pink honeysuckle) Here is more information from Las Pilitas Nursery and information from Theodore Payne Foundation about a variety, Lonicera hispidula var. vacillans.

Keckiella cordifolia (Heartleaf keckiella)   Here is more information from Las Pilitas Nursery and from The Theodore Payne Foundation.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Island false bindweed
Calystegia macrostegia

Desert wild grape
Vitis girdiana

Pink honeysuckle
Lonicera hispidula

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Are banana plants poisonous to dogs in Metarie, LA?
May 25, 2011 - Can a dog die from eating a banana plant that I have growing in my yard?
view the full question and answer

Are mountain laurel beans safe to use as rattles with small children?
September 19, 2012 - Is it safe to use the mountain laurel mescalbean pods as shakers or rattles, as long as the pods are not open and the seeds left unexposed? If a small child (very small, who has no way to open the ...
view the full question and answer

Lantana poisonous to people, animals
May 07, 2008 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I read your response to the woman with the cow eating her plants over her neighbors fence. Just so you know- Lantana is poisionous. To humans and cattle. You recommended it as a...
view the full question and answer

Is Norfolk pine poisonous to cats?
December 11, 2009 - Is a northfork pine poisonous to cats?
view the full question and answer

Are berries from the Carrot Wood Tree toxic to animals?
May 26, 2009 - Hello, I am trying to find out if the berries on the carrot wood tree are toxic to animals - dog?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center