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?


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
3 ratings

Wednesday - June 17, 2009

From: Yellville, AR
Region: Southeast
Topic: Vines
Title: Non-poisonous, fragrant flowering plant and vine for Arkansas
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I would like to find a non poisonous flowering plant that smells good, that has small to moderate plant growth, that will do well in sandy soil area, shade to full sun either way. Also would like to find a non poisonous flowering good smelling vine type plant that won't grow too big. I'm putting it in a big pot at the end of my house to cover the trailer hitch. I've all ready built a rock wall and thought some type of vine plant would look great growing over it. Thanks


Please visit our Recommended Species page and select Arkansas from the map or the pull-down menu.  This will give you a list of more than 120 species of native plants that are commercially available for landscaping in Arkansas.  You can use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option to choose plants that fit some of your criteria.  For instance, you could choose 'Herb' or 'Vine' under General Appearance.  You can also find more choices by doing a COMBINATION SEARCH in our Native Plant Database, choosing Arkansas from the Select State or Province option and making similar choices to the ones you made in the General Appearance and other categories.

For your first request, I am not sure exactly what type of plant you are looking for—a woody plant such as a small shrub or a perennial herbaceous plant.  Here are a few suggestions in each category and you can look for more yourself from the list of Arkansas recommended species or in the results of your COMBINATION SEARCH.  For each individual plant you can check under "Growing Conditions" to see its light requirements and a description of the soil types it grows best in.  You can also check it against the toxic plant databases below—it is easiest to check using the scientific names. We don't have any ready reference to whether the plants have a fragrance.  If you see a plant in these recommendations that you particularly like, you could google its scientific name with 'fragrance' and perhaps learn if it has one—pleasant or otherwise.


Conoclinium coelestinum (blue mistflower)

Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine)


Ceanothus americanus (New Jersey tea)

Hibiscus moscheutos (crimsoneyed rosemallow)

Hypericum prolificum (shrubby St. Johnswort)

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii (wax mallow)

Rosa carolina (Carolina rose)

Spiraea tomentosa (steeplebush)

None of the species above appears on any of the toxic plant databases listed below.

For the vines, either Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle) or Clematis pitcheri (bluebill) would seem to be a good choice. Unfortunately, Clematis spp. are poisonous if eaten.  Lonicera sempervirens does not appear in any of the databases below.

You can check to see if a plant is toxic in the following toxic plant databases:

Poisonous Plants of North Carolina

Cornell University Plants Poisonous to Livestock

Toxic Plants of Texas 

University of Pennsylvania Poisonous Plants

Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System

Conoclinium coelestinum

Aquilegia canadensis

Ceanothus americanus

Hibiscus moscheutos

Hypericum prolificum

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii

Rosa carolina

Spiraea tomentosa

Lonicera sempervirens




More Vines Questions

Is Bignonia capreolata (crossvine) poisonous?
March 18, 2012 - I need to know whether any part of Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata) is poisonous. Am thinking of planting it at an Elder Day Center for people with memory problems and the director insists - no toxic ...
view the full question and answer

Thorny vines for a shady Louisiana fence
January 17, 2015 - Do you know of a fast growing, non-invasive, thorny vine that I can grow along a shady fence row in Baton Rouge, Louisiana?
view the full question and answer

Red blister-like bumps on grapevine
April 17, 2008 - I have just discovered red blister like bumps on a grapevine. It is on the leaves as well as the stems. What could this be? Will it harm only the grapevine or other plants as well? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Plants for Georgetown with shade in the AM and sun in the PM
September 30, 2015 - Hi, I live in Georgetown and I would like a recommendation for plants (shrubs and flowering perennials) that can handle deep shade until 1 or 2 pm and then have full sun blasting them til sun down. T...
view the full question and answer

Looking for a supplier for Mustang Grape vine in Austin, TX>
April 02, 2012 - I'm looking for a supplier in Austin that will have a Mustang Grape Vine seed or plant for purchase. I found Natives of Texas in Kerrville, but if you know of a supplier in Austin, that would be pre...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center