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
Not Yet Rated

Friday - August 19, 2011

From: Eureka, CA
Region: California
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Poisonous Plants, Shrubs
Title: Is non-native cotoneaster poisonous to goats from Eureka CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have heard that cotoneaster is poisonous to goats and other animals. We are trying to get rid of it in our yard, but I was hoping we could use goats to eat it back. What are our options in removing it?

ANSWER:

We should begin by saying that Cotoneaster is native to China and the Himalayas and, as such, will not appear in our Native Plant Database. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native to North America. We can provide you with some links that may help you discover if your existing plants are poisonous to goats. We can also suggest an alternate way to get rid of those plants, since that is apparently your intent. Begin by cutting down the existing plants, as close to the soil as you can get. Within 5 minutes, using a disposable sponge paintbrush, brush that exposed trunk surface with a wide-spectrum herbicide. Do not use a spray, and be very careful not to spill or otherwise disperse the herbicide, as you will kill things you did not intend to do. Getting the herbicide on there quickly will allow the substance to enter the plant roots before they heal themselves over for protection. You can repeat this on every plant that is big enough to cut back. and will probably have to do it several times. As sprouts come up, clip or mow them back to the ground. Those sprouts provide leaves to continue to nourish the roots-no sprouts and the roots will eventually die, but not easily. If you don't already own hungry goats, we don't recommend you acquire any. 

Gardenweb Forum Why do I hate my cotoneasters?

Previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer on What do goats eat?

From another Mr. Smarty Plants answer:

"Whenever Mr. Smarty Plants gets questions about toxic plants, he checks out these databases to look for answers.

The Merck Veterinary Manual

ASPCA   

University of Arkansas 
 
University of Illinois  (common names only)    

Web site about Dobermans 

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

California Poison Action Line

From the University of Arkansas website listed above on  Cotoneaster:

Toxicity Category 1 - Plants can cause systemic toxicity varying from mild abdominal cramping to serious cardiac complications.

Toxicity Category 3 - plants usually produce only mild to moderate stomach upset or dermatitis.

 

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Flowering landscape plants for Montgomery TX
March 07, 2013 - Hello I live in Montgomery TX. I am looking for low growing evergreen flowering plants for the front of my three deep beds. The first plant closest to the foundation is loropetalum, then I have a blue...
view the full question and answer

Invasiveness of Cosmos from Decatur GA
April 26, 2013 - I have been searching for an answer concerning the invasive plant Cosmos. I know that Florida declares this but I have not been able to find out does Georgia? And specifically,is it only the yellow Co...
view the full question and answer

Kudzu for Ft. Lauderdale, FL
July 27, 2010 - I just inherited a piece of land and am very much interested in starting some kind of homeopathic herbs. Can you tell me about Kudzu and where I can purchase some of these seeds?
view the full question and answer

Plants for north side from Dale TX
February 10, 2012 - What native trees and bushes can I plant on the north side of house? Can I use corn meal( I NEED FIGHT A GRASS) in flowerbed and then plant native wildlife seeds(FLOWERS)?
view the full question and answer

Maintenance of Blue grama in early stages
July 06, 2007 - I am seeding my large back yard with blue grama - 30-45 minutes of almost daily hand weeding for two months keeps me from falling too far behind on the green foxtail, bindweed, elm tree seedlings, pig...
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