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

Sunday - October 12, 2008

From: Butler, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Non-toxic, non-invasive native flowers for horses
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi I have a couple areas in and bordering horse pastures that I would like to plant with native flowers. I can find lists of toxic flowers but not non toxic native ones. Id like non -toxic non-invasive native flowers does such a list exist?. In particular are the hyssops toxic to horses. Thanks

ANSWER:

As far as I know, there are no lists that contain only non-toxic, non-invasive native plants; but, as you say, there are lists of toxic plants.  Here are several toxic plant databases:

Universtiy of Pennsylvania's Poisonous Plants Database

Poisonous Plants of North Carolina

Cornell University's Plants Poisonous to Livestock and other Animals

Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System

Texas Toxic Plant Database

In the five toxic databases above, I could find no listing of any species that has the common name of hyssop (Genus AgastacheGenus Bacopa or Genus Gatriola).  So—even though absence from a list is not a guarantee that a species has no toxicity, absence from 5 different lists makes a better case that the plant is not toxic.

Now, for other flowers you might like to plant there, you can check on the five lists above for their toxicity.  I suggest that you look them up under their scientific names rather than by their common names since the scientific names are generally standard no matter where you live.  If you visit our Recommended Species page and select 'Pennsylvania' from the map there, you will bring up a list of commercially-available native plants recommended for Pennsylvania.  You can also find a "Roadside Use of Native Plants" list for Pennsylvania from the US Dept. of Transportation Federal Highway Administration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Removing poison ivy around live oak in Hockley TX
July 02, 2009 - We have a large live oak in our backyard, estimated to be over 100 years old. I am working on clearing out the brush that is under the tree. Can I spray commercially available poison ivy killer in t...
view the full question and answer

Are dogwood trees poisonous to horses?
April 26, 2009 - Are dogwood trees poisonous to horses?
view the full question and answer

Non-floweriing vines not poisonous to dogs from Pittsburgh PA
June 10, 2013 - Are there any vines or crawlers (nothing that flowers) that are non poisonous to dogs? Everything I am finding is poisonous, I want to plant some vines up a chain link fence around a swimming pool.
view the full question and answer

Cake decorations with flowers
February 25, 2009 - Can I decorate a cake with bluebonnets, lavender or mountain laurel blooms?
view the full question and answer

Wildlife garden for Austin
May 19, 2013 - I am trying to make my backyard more wildlife friendly. I have pecan trees for the canopy and some understory shrub/trees like rough leaf dogwood and redbud. I am having a really hard time finding sui...
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