En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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

Can the buds and flowers from my Rhodendron tree be toxic to my puppy? Yes
March 23, 2009 - I recently got a new 7 week old puppy that keeps trying to play with and eat buds and flowers off my Rhododendron tree. Could this be toxic to him?
view the full question and answer

Campsis radicans or cow itch
April 03, 2008 - We cleaned my father-in-law's home-place up out in the country week-before-last. My wife, her 2 sisters and a niece have this unusual-looking poison on them. It is big red places and itches all ove...
view the full question and answer

Are the seeds of Texas ebony poisonous to dogs from Chandler AZ
October 30, 2009 - Please tell me if it is dangerous for my puppy to eat the seeds of a Texas ebony. She seems to be attracted to them.
view the full question and answer

Is Purple Hopseed poisonous to dogs?
September 03, 2011 - Is the Purple Hopseed plant safe for dogs? We would like to plant a hedge of the purple hopseed at my parents home. They are elderly and have a small (8lb.) dog that they just love so much..I would ...
view the full question and answer

Plant ID from Villa Hills KY
April 21, 2013 - Hello I have this plant but I don't know what it is. I want to know if it's edible or what it is. I think it's catnip.
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center