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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.

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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.

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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!

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Tuesday - March 31, 2009

From: Muskogee, OK
Region: Southwest
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Evergreen hedge non-toxic for horses and goats in Muskogee, OK
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in northeastern Oklahoma. I am trying to find an evergreen hedge, 6-8 ft in height, 4-6 ft spread that is not harmful to horses or goats. Everything that I have found is for Zone 8 or 9.

ANSWER:

We will begin by finding suitable plants for your purpose by going to our Recommended Species, selecting Oklahoma on the map, and Narrow Your Search to first shrubs and then trees. Then, whatever we find, we will check with these various poisonous plant databases to eliminate those you could not use. 

10 Most Poisonous Plants for Horses from EquiSearch.com

Poisonous Plants from Trailblazer Magazine

Toxic Plants:  Horses from the ASPCA

Horse Nutrition:  Poisonous Plants from Ohio State University

You might also like to read Bulletin 415-Plants Poisonous to Livestock in the Western States from the USDA Agricultural Research Service.

Cornell University Poisonous Plants Informational Database

University of Pennsylvania's Poisonous Plants Database

Texas Toxic Plants Database

It turns out our two favorite evergreen shrubs are still the winners. You are in Zone 7a (average minimum temperature 0 to 5 deg F); both these plants are native to Oklahoma, and will be hardy in your area. 

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon)

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle)


Ilex vomitoria

Ilex vomitoria

Morella cerifera

Morella cerifera

 

 

 

 

 

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