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?

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

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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - June 23, 2008

From: Paradise, CA
Region: California
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Plants to replace poison ivy and brush
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am right next to a highway in Paradise, CA 95969. I am having brush and poison oak removed in that area and want to plant something fast growing and draught resistant. I am thinking about Oleanders, but I have 2 little dogs. I don't think they would bother the Oleanders though as they don't chew on much except grass. Any ideas?

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants would not recommend oleanders (Nerium oleander) since they are not native to California or North America (native to the Mediterranean area and Asia) and what we are all about is "to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes." Also, as you probably know, all parts of the plant are highly toxic.

Here are some recommendations for native substitutes:

Heteromeles arbutifolia (toyon) and more photos and information

Frangula californica (syn. Rhamnus californica) (California buckthorn or coffeeberry) and photos and more information

Rhamnus crocea (redberry buckthorn) and more photos and information

You could also use one of the California manzanitas (Arctostaphylos spp.)


Heteromeles arbutifolia

Rhamnus crocea

Arctostaphylos glandulosa

Arctostaphylos patula

 


 

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Plant ID from San Marcos TX
June 07, 2014 - 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?
view the full question and answer

Are Carolina Cherry Laurel seeds poisonous from Asheville NC
August 14, 2012 - I have a Carolina cherry laurel in my back yard that is dropping berries into my vegetable garden beds. May be a silly question, but will the berries poison the plants (and me) when I eat them?
view the full question and answer

Is Thalia dealbata toxic to dogs?
May 16, 2011 - A pond in a park frequented by dogs contains Thalia dealbata and I have seen numerous dogs eating the roots with relish, which we discourage, of course. They seem to really enjoy it though. Aft...
view the full question and answer

Is non-native mascagnia macroptera poisonous to animals from Hockley TX
February 17, 2014 - Is Mascagmia macroptra (Butterfly Vine) poisonous to animals (horses and dogs)?
view the full question and answer

Is Artemesia ludoviciana allelopathic?
February 20, 2009 - I recently read that Artemisia ludoviciana is allelopathic to some other plants. I planted some last fall between a rusty blackhaw viburnum and a Mexican buckeye. Do you know whether it is phytotoxi...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center