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

Tuesday - September 30, 2008

From: Seven Valleys, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Toxic trees and shrubs in Pennsylvania
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a long property edge that I have been gradually transforming from a former cattle pasture into a hedgerow of native trees and shrubs. Cattle still graze on the other side. Are there any toxic central PA native shrubs/trees I should be avoiding?

ANSWER:

If you do a COMBINATION SEARCH in our Native Plant Database, you can find a list of the native trees and/or shrubs of Pennsylvania by selecting Pennsylvania from the "Select State or Province" option and then choosing 'Tree' or 'Shrub' from the "Habit (general appearance)" option.  You can then search for the plant's botanical (Latin) name in the University of Pennsylvania's Poisonous Plants database.  For instance, the leaves of  Acer rubrum (red maple) are toxic to horses and the sprouts, leaves and seed of Aesculus spp. [Aesculus flava (yellow buckeye) and Aesculus glabra (Ohio buckeye)] are poisonous to livestock.  As well as the University of Pennsylvania's Poisonous Plants database, there are also the Cornell University Plants Poisonous to Livestock, the Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System, the Poisonous Plants of North Carolina and the Texas Toxic Plants databases that you can check your plants against.

 

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Dog-proof shrubs in Woodmere NY
May 21, 2009 - My chocolate lab thinks that shrubs are the same as "fetch" sticks..she's ripped out my azalea, rhododendron, andromeda and a few others I'm not sure of the names. She's a great pup (almost 1 yr...
view the full question and answer

Denying cows access to flowers through fence
March 20, 2008 - What flowers can I plant that cows will not eat? They stick their heads through the fence and eat anything they can reach. I would like to plant something in the fence row that will not hurt the cows...
view the full question and answer

Is Ilex glabra a Good Substitute Hedge for Boxwood?
November 08, 2013 - I am planning a new garden in my yard (Mercer County, NJ). My site is south-facing, average water and average soil. The aesthetic look that I want is formal; a tightly sheared hedge of small leaves ab...
view the full question and answer

Cold Hardy Hibiscus for Central Texas
April 18, 2015 - What variety of Hibiscus is cold hardy for Central Texas?
view the full question and answer

Non-native Jerusalem Sage from Comfort TX
May 31, 2012 - I live in Comfort, TX. I have 3 Jerusalem sage plants that bloom beautifully each year. However, just the past week one has started turning yellow and brown. The leaves look withered and ready to die....
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center