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

Cutting back non-native oleanders affected by freeze in Austin
January 30, 2010 - After the last hard freeze makes my oleanders look dead. Can I cut them down to the ground this time of year?
view the full question and answer

Is it safe to eat vegetables grown in the same bed as foxgloves?
August 12, 2012 - I have foxglove in my flower beds and have planted tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and cantaloupe in the flower bed and now I am concerned about the shared root system. Also, my tomatoes are touching the...
view the full question and answer

Are Chilean Mesquite pods poisonous to dogs?
July 12, 2010 - Are chilean Mesquite tree pods poisonous to dogs?
view the full question and answer

Is Texas Mountain Laurel Honey Toxic in Fulshear, TX?
March 11, 2012 - Toxicity of Texas Mountain Laurel HONEY I know the seeds and leaves of the Tx Mountain Laurel are toxic. But, is honey that comes from the Mountain Laurel toxic too? I heard that it is, but can'...
view the full question and answer

Getting rid of poison ivy
May 08, 2009 - Dear Mr Smarty Plants, Likewise I also have a shady area in my yard with overgrowth of poison ivy. It borders a small duck pond and we have a Golden Retriever. I too would like to plant soon afterward...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center