En Español

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?


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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
1 rating

Saturday - June 07, 2014

From: San Marcos, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification, Poisonous Plants
Title: Plant ID from San Marcos TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford


My dogs love to eat the leaves of a certain little orange wildflower. It might be Wedelia or Texas creeping oxeye. Have you ever heard of this?


It turns out that both "wedelia" and "Texas creeping-oxeye" are common names for the same plant, as you will learn when you follow this link, Wedelia texana (Zexmenia) to our webpage on it. It is a small shrub in the 1-3 ft. category and not a little wildflower.  We went to our Native Plant Database and, using the Combination Search, looked for Texas, "herbs" under Habit, and "orange" under Color, and got 14 results of which only 6 looked remotely like your description and most of the flowers looked yellow to us:

Castilleja indivisa (Entireleaf indian paintbrush)

Castilleja purpurea var. lindheimeri (Lindheimer's paintbrush)

Krigia caespitosa (Weedy dwarfdandelion)

Oenothera triloba (Stemless evening-primrose)

Oxalis stricta (Common yellow oxalis)

Viola pubescens (Downy yellow violet)

That's as close as we can come, if you are asking if we ever heard of this flower. If you are asking if this is a toxic plant for dogs, we suggest you go to this website, ASPCA List of Toxic and Poisonous Plants for Dogs, and search, by scientific names, for whatever plant you think is might be. If you are asking if we ever heard of dogs eating flowers, sure, we have, but if your dogs are not sick yet, we wouldn't be too worried.


From the Image Gallery

Wedelia acapulcensis var. hispida

Wedelia acapulcensis var. hispida

Wedelia acapulcensis var. hispida

Wedelia acapulcensis var. hispida

Texas indian paintbrush
Castilleja indivisa

Lindheimer's paintbrush
Castilleja purpurea var. lindheimeri

Weedy dwarfdandelion
Krigia caespitosa

Stemless evening-primrose
Oenothera triloba

Common yellow oxalis
Oxalis stricta

Downy yellow violet
Viola pubescens

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Non-toxic Groundcover for North-Central Texas
April 07, 2011 - I need a creeping ground cover for shade that is non-toxic to dogs. I had planned on Swedish ivy until I read it was toxic. Is Asian jasmine toxic? Or, do you have any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Are wild cherry trees poisonous for horses?
October 31, 2010 - I have just purchased a pony and have been told that wild cherry trees could cause harm or even kill her. Is this true and where can I go to get a list of all the poisonous plants, shrubs and trees fo...
view the full question and answer

Black chokeberry edible from Huntsville ON
May 04, 2013 - Can the fruit of the black chokeberry be eaten??
view the full question and answer

Detoxifying soil from York England
August 15, 2012 - How do you neutralize toxic soil, it may have been contaminated by Foxglove Digitalis Purpurea? Thankyou
view the full question and answer

Can hackberry twigs and leaves be safely used in compost?
March 05, 2009 - If Hackberry trees and leaves have growth inhibiting compounds, should they not be used in compost piles?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center