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?


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

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


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


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




More Poisonous Plants Questions

Does non-native Crown of Thorns cause cancer?
August 24, 2013 - Does the plant, Corona De Cristo (Crown of thorns) cause cancer?
view the full question and answer

Toxicity of Yucca leaves San Marcos, TX
August 19, 2009 - Can you tell me if Yucca constricta leaves are poisonous? I ran into one at night and the next morning had a hive-like, VERY itchy rash.
view the full question and answer

Topical treatment for poison ivy rash
November 12, 2008 - I would like to know a topical treatment for the poison ivy rash
view the full question and answer

Shade trees not toxic to dogs in Kempner TX
August 21, 2013 - Dear Mr Smarty Plants, we are looking for shade trees to plant around our home in Kempner, Tx. I saw another family that asked a similar question but we have dogs and holly or oak trees are toxic (my...
view the full question and answer

Need information about the toxicity of some newly acquired plants in Austin, TX
January 04, 2010 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I just got a Carolina Buckthorn tree, a silk tassel, a wafer ash, and an escarpment black cherry tree. I wonder if any of these trees produce berries that would be poisonous to ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center