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Monday - May 10, 2010

From: Buda, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Drought-tolerant plants that are non-toxic to dogs
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I am looking for drought-tolerant native plants non-poisonious to dogs. We are putting gardens in an area the dog has access to, and she likes to sample the darndest things. South side of the house, close to the slab. Light 6+ hours/day. Nothing too tall - 2'-3' max for the base. Will be in a gravel topped (rock) garden. Some succulents would be nice. A few possibilities I gleaned from your website are listed, but I don't know if they are poisonious to the dog: Blackfoot daisy; Texas creeping-oxeye; Texas sacahuista; Red yucca; Texas yucca; Prairie verbena; Heartleaf rosemallow (hibiscus); Mealy blue sage; and any salvia. Thank you for your suggestions.


You have made some excellent choices with:

Melampodium leucanthum (plains blackfoot)

Wedelia texana (Texas creeping oxeye)

Nolina texana (Texas sacahuista)

Hesperaloe parviflora (redflower false yucca)

Yucca rupicola (Texas yucca)  

Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida (Prairie verbena)

Hibiscus martianus (heartleaf rosemallow)  

Salvia farinacea (mealycup sage)

Here are some more possibilities:

Oenothera macrocarpa ssp. macrocarpa (bigfruit evening-primrose)

Tetraneuris scaposa var. scaposa (stemmy four-nerve daisy)

Chrysactinia mexicana (damianita)

Dalea frutescens (black prairie clover)

Pavonia lasiopetala (Texas swampmallow)

Salvia greggii (autumn sage)

Salvia coccinea (blood sage) is listed specifically on the ASPCA list as non-toxic. 

There are several databases to consult for plant toxicity.  The ASPCA has a list specific to dogs, Toxic and Non-toxic Plant List—Dogs. There are several others that we use, as well:

Toxic Plants of Texas 

Poisonous Plants of North Carolina

Cornell University Plants Poisonous to Livestock

University of Pennsylvania Poisonous Plants

Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System

On the ASPCA list I found these plants:  1) Yucca spp. are on the list indicating that all species of Yucca should be avoided around dogs.  2)  Hibiscus syriacus (a non-native) is on the list, but not the native one you chose, H. martianus.  None of the other databases listed any members of these genera as being toxic so you will have to use your own judgement as to whether or not to plant the yucca or the hibiscus.  Only one database, Toxic Plants of Texas, had a species of Salvia listed and that was Salvia reflexa (lanceleaf sage), a sage that grows in western Texas.  Of course, just because a plant doesn't appear on any of the databases isn't a guarantee that it might not be slightly toxic to your puppy, but it does make it more likely that the puppy won't become ill from eating or chewing on a small amount of the plant.

You can check the Texas—Central Recommended list for other possibilities and check them against the toxic plant databases listed above.  It's best to use the botanical name for checking the toxicity since the botanical name is more consistently reliable than the common name.

Here are photos from our Image Gallery of the new ones I have suggested:

Oenothera macrocarpa ssp. macrocarpa

Tetraneuris scaposa var. scaposa

Chrysactinia mexicana

Dalea frutescens

Pavonia lasiopetala

Salvia greggii

Salvia coccinea






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