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
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - September 03, 2011

From: Nipomo, CA
Region: California
Topic: Non-Natives, Poisonous Plants
Title: Is Purple Hopseed poisonous to dogs?
Answered by: Anne Ruggles


Is the Purple Hopseed plant safe for dogs? We would like to plant a hedge of the purple hopseed at my parents home. They are elderly and have a small (8lb.) dog that they just love so much..I would hate to plant anything that could be bad for the little dog. Thanks for any help.


The Purple Hopseed (Dodonaea viscosa, var. Purpurea) is a shrub in the soapberry family – the Sapindaceae. There are about 50 species of shrubs and small trees in the genus Dodonnaea. They are native to tropics around the world, most notably in Australia. The Purple Hopseed is highly variable and occurs over a large range. The variety, 'Purpurea' is the most widely cultivated and is native to New Zealand. It is an evergreen with bronzy green leaves that turn deep purple red in the fall.


There are a number of sites to check for toxicity of plants to pets (see below). None lists this plant.

  1. ASPCA  
  2. Cornell University Dept. of Animal Science 
  3. Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service
  4. Univ. of Illinois Veterinary Medicine Library
  5. Univ. of Penn. School of Veterinary Medicine
  6. California Poison Control Center
  7. California LIst of Toxic Plants 



More Poisonous Plants Questions

Is hopseed bush poisonous to horses in San Diego
October 26, 2009 - I need to plant a hedge to block unwanted neighbors and shield the horse corral from the house. I love the hopseed bush for its growing habits and color, especially the purple hopseed. I need to know ...
view the full question and answer

Failure to bloom of Eve's necklacepod in Austin
April 04, 2011 - I have a young Eve's necklace that never blooms in the spring. I wonder every spring if this will be the year, but the blooms never come. Is there a reason for this? The tree is about three or fou...
view the full question and answer

Is Texas Mountain Laurel Honey Toxic in Fulshear, TX?
March 11, 2012 - Toxicity of Texas Mountain Laurel HONEY I know the seeds and leaves of the Tx Mountain Laurel are toxic. But, is honey that comes from the Mountain Laurel toxic too? I heard that it is, but can'...
view the full question and answer

Beneficial characteristics of Phytolacca americana (Pokeweed)
May 21, 2013 - I have a surprise Polk weed plant growing in my back yard, does it have any beneficial uses,and if not, how best to eradicate it. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Itchy hands from handling Lantana plants
September 13, 2009 - I am in Ocala,FL. I pick up with my hands branches from a cut down Lantana Plant. My hands are very itchy, what can I do. THANK YOU FOR YOU.
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center