Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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?

Share

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
1 rating

Monday - August 31, 2009

From: Aguanga, CA
Region: California
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Native plants and possible poisonous plants in Aguanga, California
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am in the process of moving to Aguanga California. I am interested in knowing what the native plants are in that area. Are they poison to animals and kids?

ANSWER:

Our Native Plant Database, a work in progress, doesn't yet contain all the native plants that occur in California, but you can find a list of 2,389 native California plants listed there.  Since California is such a large state with many different climates and terrains, those more than 2000 plants won't occur in all of California.  We can narrow the list down for southern California plants by looking at a list of commerically available native plants suitable for landscaping in our California-Southern Recommended list.  This doesn't by any means give you all the plants native to southern California, but it does contain many of the most common ones. 

Now for the poisonous native plants in southern California I actually found a couple of lists.  One list by Owen E. Dell, The Big Ten: Southern California Plants Seriously Poisonous to Humans, as its name suggests lists ten highly toxic plants. Only one of these, however, Toxicodendron diversilobum (Pacific poison oak), is native to southern California and North America.  You certainly would want to recognize those nine other toxic plants so I suggest that you do an internet search on each of them using their scientific name to see photos and read more about them.  Another list (also by Owen E. Dell), Poisonous Plants Commonly Occurring in Southern California, is a more extensive list that includes plants with various degrees of toxicity—some mild and some severe.  This list does contain many plants native to southern California that you can find by searching in our Native Plant Database.  There is also a small book, Poisonous plants of southern California, published in 1998 by the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation that should be available in a nearby library or is possibly still in print.

 

 

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Non-toxic, non-invasive native flowers for horses
October 12, 2008 - Hi I have a couple areas in and bordering horse pastures that I would like to plant with native flowers. I can find lists of toxic flowers but not non toxic native ones. Id like non -toxic non-invas...
view the full question and answer

hummingbird attractants
May 03, 2012 - I live in Baytown, Texas and am looking for a variety of plants that attract Hummingbirds, but are also pet friendly. I have two dogs, so this is a major concern. I am putting the plants in my backyar...
view the full question and answer

Dwarf oyster plant dying in Sunrise FL
July 06, 2012 - WHAT WOULD BE KILLING MY DWARF OYSTER PLANTS
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

Lupinus perennis Poisonous to Dogs?
April 14, 2013 - I have heard that some lupine varieties are quite poisonous to dogs, others are not. Do you know if it's safe for my dogs if I plant and encourage Lupinus perennis in my NH meadow?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.