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
1 rating

Saturday - October 29, 2011

From: San Dimas, CA
Region: California
Topic: Poisonous Plants, Privacy Screening, Shrubs
Title: Shrubs that non-toxic to horses but that they won't eat
Answered by: Anne Ruggles

QUESTION:

I am looking for a low maintenance, low water, green shrub that horses won't eat and will not be toxic to them. I want to hide my neighbors corral and keep down dust on my side. The horses have "leaned" over the pipe fence and almost pushed it over to get at my apricot trees.

ANSWER:

We understand why you might like to lessen competition for the apricots.

To start with, let’s address the issue of toxicity. There is a list of links to plants that are toxic to horses at this Mr Smarty Plants answer:

The Range Plants of Temperate North America is another excellent source of determining which plants are toxic to livestock.

There are several native shrubs/ small trees that might be good candidates.

One is:  is Fraxinus dipetala (California ash) is a small deciduous tree (up to 20 feet) with fragrant white flowers.  Here are photos and more information.

Another is:  Cercis orbiculata [syn. Cercis occidentalis var. orbiculata] (California redbud)  is a small tree (up to 15 feet) with pink blossoms in the spring.  Here are more photos and information. 

A third is:  Cornus nuttallii (Pacific dogwood) grows 15 to 40 feet high and has showy flowers.

Another good source of information is your local County Extension Agent. From the drop-down menu at the top highlight "Offices" and then click on "County Offices."  These folks will be able to help you determinw what will work best in your microclimate and with your soil type.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


California redbud
Cercis orbiculata

California redbud
Cercis orbiculata

Pacific dogwood
Cornus nuttallii

More Shrubs Questions

Failure of highbush blueberry plant to produce in New Hampshire
July 25, 2008 - One of my highbush blueberry plants completely stopped producing. What can I do to revive it?
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for plants for a bird/small wildlife refuge in Wichita Co, TX.
August 26, 2011 - With our continuing drought in North Texas, I'm planning to transform my small backyard into a bird/small wildlife "refuge". What types of native plants and grasses can I plant in dry, hot Wichita ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a condo garden in Decatur GA
February 12, 2009 - I recently moved into a condo in Decatur (just outside Atlanta). I am now working on the back yard - just a patio and dirt right now. It is a small space and is shaded much of the day but does get s...
view the full question and answer

When does Ziziphus obtusifolia leaf and flower in Austin?
March 22, 2010 - Hello Mr. S.P., Do you know when the Texas buckthorn, Ziziphus obtusifolia (I believe), flowers (and leafs out) in Austin? Is there one at the Wildflower Center?
view the full question and answer

Non-native eleagnus from Jesup GA
January 17, 2014 - An elderly farmer has told me about a plant called Alley Agnes, but I can't find any plant by this name anywhere. He doesn't know another name for it, says it's what everyone has always called it i...
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