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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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Saturday - October 03, 2009

From: Gloucester, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Are leatherleaf viburnum or Carolina Sapphire toxic to horses?
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Are Leather-leaf Viburnum or Carolina Saphire toxic to equine? I would like to plant them near the fence line.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants found neither Cupressus arizonica var. glabra (Carolina Sapphire), a cultivar of Cupressus arizonica (Arizona cypress) that was developed at Clemson University, nor Viburnum rhytidophyllum (leatherleaf viburnum), a native of China, listed in any of the toxic plant databases listed below:

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

Toxic Plants: Horses from the ASPCA

This doesn't guarantee that the plants are not toxic to horses, but it is a pretty good indication that they are safe.

As an alternative for the non-native leatherleaf viburnum from China, Mr. Smarty Plants would like to suggest several species of viburnum that are native to Virginia. Here are several recommendations:

Viburnum acerifolium (mapleleaf viburnum)

Viburnum dentatum (southern arrowwood)

Viburnum nudum (possumhaw)

Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw)

Viburnum rufidulum (rusty blackhaw)


Viburnum acerifolium

Viburnum dentatum

Viburnum nudum

Viburnum prunifolium

Viburnum rufidulum

 

 

 

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