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
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - September 23, 2008

From: Ovilla, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Trees and shrubs that are not poisonous to horses
Answered by: Nan Hampton


What non poisonous trees or shrubs or hedges would work for being near horses?


You can find a list of recommended native species that are commercially available for north central Texas by choosing that area from the map on our Recommended Species page. You can check the species that interest you against the Texas Toxic Plants Database. For instance, if you happen to pick Aesculus glabra (horse chestnut), a very attractive plant, your will find that is definitely not good for horses, despite its name.

Here are a few recommendations for native trees and shrubs for north central Texas that are not toxic for horses:

Carya illinoinensis (pecan)

Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas redbud)

Fraxinus americana (white ash)

Frangula caroliniana (Carolina buckthorn)

Rhus lanceolata (prairie sumac)

Ulmus americana (American elm)

Ulmus crassifolia (cedar elm)

Viburnum rufidulum (rusty blackhaw)

Here are a few links to pages with lists of plants poisonous to horses:


Trail Blazer magazine


Ohio State University

Also, you will fiind several previously answered questions about horses and toxic plants by entering "horses" in the KEYWORD SEARCH box on the Mr. Smarty Plants page.

Carya illinoinensis

Cercis canadensis var. texensis

Fraxinus americana

Frangula caroliniana

Rhus lanceolata

Ulmus americana

Ulmus crassifolia



More Shrubs Questions

Native sun shrubs and perennials to replace St. Augustine
June 06, 2008 - Hi, I live in Austin and I'm removing the St. Augustine from the southwest side of our house. This area gets intense sun all afternoon, and I'd really like to use a combination of native shrubs and...
view the full question and answer

Native trees and shrubs for bloom various times of year
February 10, 2008 - I live in Southwest Austin and have a garden that spans the length of our back fence. It gets approximately 6 hours of sun. We currently have two trees (which we think are Bradford Pears) and three ...
view the full question and answer

Failure to thrive of Esperanza in Houston
July 07, 2009 - Esperanza plant. I have 3 of these plant in my flower bed for the last 10 years. They get west sun. Over the last three years they have bloomed initially but then the new growth is deformed. The best...
view the full question and answer

Identification of a shrub in San Marcos, TX
May 20, 2013 - On a walk in Austin's Barton Creek greenbelt, a Treefolks volunteer identified a shrub that I also have on my property in San Marcos as blue candalia. However I can't find a plant by that name via w...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen for privacy screen in Northern California
October 19, 2012 - Hello, My neighbor just logged their property and we need a very quick growing evergreen shrub/tree (for privacy of ugly cabin) that grows to at least 10' -15' tall. We live in northern Cal. about ...
view the full question and answer

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