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
5 ratings

Sunday - March 20, 2011

From: Spring, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Is non-native Viburnum suspensum (sandankwa) poisonous to dogs?
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Are Viburnum suspensum leaves or berries (Sandankwa) poisonous to dogs?

ANSWER:

Viburnum suspensum (viburnum) is a non-native shrub that was introduced to North America from Okinawa and other islands of the Japanese Ryuku Islands.  I found one commercial nursery website, easyBloom.com, that had this to say about Viburnum suspensum:  "The fruits are toxic and can cause stomach discomfort upon consumption."  The Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System lists another viburnum, Viburnum opulus, that is considered mildly toxic.  However, the following toxic databases do not list any viburnums at all.

Cornell University Plants Poisonous to Livestock

University of Pennsylvania Poisonous Plants

Toxic Plants of Texas

Poisonous Plants and Mushrooms of North Carolina

The ASPCA's Toxic and Non-Toxic Plant List – Dogs under "Plants Non-Toxic to Dogs" lists blackhaw or sweet viburnum (Viburnum lentago) as being safe, no viburnum species are listed under "Plants Toxic to Dogs".

So, the berries may or may not be mildly toxic to your dog, but there aren't any reports of leaves being a problem. Addtionally, there doesn't seem to be any indication that the berries could be deadly. Perhaps your best bet, if you want to keep the shrub in the yard with your dog, is to cut off the fruit clusters and dispose of them as soon as they form after the tree has bloomed.

Alternatively, perhaps you could consider replacing the sandankwa viburnum with one of the viburnums that are native to Texas.  There are 6 species of native Texas viburnums and none of them are on any toxic plant list that I could find. The Texas viburnums are:  Viburnum acerifolium (Mapleleaf viburnum), Viburnum dentatum (Southern arrowwood), Viburnum nudum (Possumhaw viburnum), Viburnum prunifolium (Blackhaw), Viburnum rafinesquianum (Downy arrowwood) and Viburnum rufidulum (Rusty blackhaw viburnum).

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Heirloom plants for Gault Homestead in Austin
April 15, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, The Gault Homestead at 2106 Klattenhoff in the middle of Wells Branch Subdivision is to be planted with heirloom or heritage plants soon. There is some sun for the planter bo...
view the full question and answer

Cultivation of non=native Brugmansia sanquinea
January 04, 2006 - I have had an Angel Trumpet since spring 2004, I keep it indoors in about 5 hours of sun a day. It is about 5 feet tall and was loaded with leaves. At Christmas time I had to move it from the front wi...
view the full question and answer

Failure to thrive of non-native Confederate Jasmine in Tucson AZ
May 27, 2010 - My Star/Confederate Jasmine, a 30 foot long wall of it, for over 5 years now has one side of it losing leaves. I seem to remember it did this one other summer, but came back in?? What could be the pr...
view the full question and answer

Non-native bulbine damaged by freeze
March 15, 2010 - Our Texas bulbine were hit hard this year. The tops are dead, not sure if any roots are still alive. Should we trim them back to the dirt; if roots are still alive, will they emerge again via root s...
view the full question and answer

Non-native blue potato bush in El Dorado Hills CA
June 12, 2010 - I have two blue potato bush topiary planted in my front porch in a very big planter. It's getting a full afternoon sun. I am wondering why they are losing their leaves??? Am I overwatering them??? Al...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center