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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Monday - February 09, 2009

From: Brighton, IA
Region: Midwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: What shade trees and shrubs are safe to plant around horses in Iowa?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I need to know what shade trees, flowering trees, shrubs and flowering shrubs are safe to plant around horses in Iowa. thanks

ANSWER:

I am providing links to five databases regarding toxic plants. Please note that the absence of the name of a plant from these lists does not guarantee that it is non-toxic to horses, but not finding it on the lists makes it less likely to be toxic. To search the lists, I recommend using the scientific name since those names are generally standard, whereas the common names often vary in spelling and usage.

For help in selecting trees and shrubs to plant, select RECOMMENDED SPECIES from the EXPLORE PLANTS MENU. When the Recommended Species page comes up, click on Iowa on the map. You will get a list of 178 commercially available native plant species suitable for planned landscapes in Iowa. You can choose the "Narrow your Search" option, select "Tree" under HABIT and "Perennnial"under DURATION, then click on the Narrow Your Search bar and you will trim your list to 36 tree species. Clicking on the name of any plant will take you to the page for that plant in the Native Plant Database. Repeat the Narrow Your Search procedure choosing Shrub under HABIT, and you will get a list of 29 shrubs.

 Texas Toxic Plant Database

 ASPCA

Equisearch.com 

Cornell University's Plants Poisonous to Livestock and other Animals 

Poisonous Plants of the Southern United States

 

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