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
2 ratings

Monday - June 15, 2009

From: san marcos, CA
Region: California
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Photinia toxicity to dogs
Answered by: Jackie OKeefe


is the photinia bush toxic to dogs??


The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center disseminates information about our native plants and seeks to encourage their use in their native habitats. Our range of expertise is limited to this arena.

There are multiple photinia varieties. The commonly used landscape plant is Red-Tipped Photinia, Photinia fraseri, a hybrid of Asian parentage. According to The Merck Veterinary Manual, it is toxic to horses and other ruminants (grazing animals), but there is no indication of toxicity to dogs.

Heteromeles arbutifolia (toyon) , or Christmasberry, is a southern California native of the chapparal community which is a photinia relative. It is on a California list under the name Photinia arbutifolia as a plant which is poisonous to humans, but is not listed as toxic to dogs.

Heteromeles arbutifolia



More Poisonous Plants Questions

Plants Toxic to Horses
October 26, 2013 - I want to put planters on the front of my horse barn, which is also in the front field, so the horses could eat what is in it if they want to. I am looking to put a miniature pine tree in the planter....
view the full question and answer

Are any cherry trees poisonous from Clovis CA?
April 30, 2011 - Are there some cherry trees that are poisonous? if so, how do you identify them?
view the full question and answer

Eliminating silverleaf nightshade from Albuquerque NM
June 07, 2014 - I have silverleaf nightshade in my yard and would like to eradicate it (yeah, I know, good luck!) or at least control it. Do you have any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Trimming Texas mountain laurel in Austin
August 27, 2009 - Is there a specific time to trim established mountain laurels? Should I cut off the dried seed pods since they are weighing down the branches?
view the full question and answer

Safe grazing for donkeys and goats from Osteen FL
June 30, 2012 - I am having a very difficult time trying to find shrubs, hedges, plants, flowers, or trees etc. that are safe for donkeys and goats. We live in Zone 9 and have a small farm. I've had to pull every ...
view the full question and answer

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