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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 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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Wednesday - May 27, 2009

From: Olathe, KS
Region: Midwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Are non-natives, Dappled willow and Kousa dogwood, toxic to horses?
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Are dappled willow trees/bushes or kousa dogwood trees toxic to horses?

ANSWER:

First of all, our focus and expertise here at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center are with plants native to North America.  Neither Salix integra 'Hakuro-Nishiki' (Dappled willow) nor  Cornus kousa (Kousa dogwood) are North American natives; both are Asian natives.  Nevertheless, Mr. Smarty Plants can guide you to several toxic plant databases—some specific for horses and some general—that you can use to find out if your plants are toxic to horses. A quick search in the four last databases on the list below (the general ones) did not show either of the species above, nor were there any entries at all under the two genera (Salix or Cornus).  You should search through the horse toxic plant databases for both plants and keep these databases in mind when you have questions about other plants.

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

Poisonous Plants of North Carolina

Cornell University Plants Poisonous to Livestock

Texas Toxic Plant Database

University of Pennsylvania Poisonous Plants

 

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