En Espa—ol

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

Monday - November 21, 2011

From: Santa Rosa, NM
Region: Southwest
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: poisonous landscaping plants in New Mexico
Answered by: Anne Ruggles

QUESTION:

Mr. Smarty Plants, I have been given the task of finding non poisonous plants and shrubbery to add to our new children's playground. This is a Head Start playground so I have to make sure anything we plant there is safe for our children. Your advice is most appreciated. Thanks, Jo Ann

ANSWER:

Congratulations on the new playground. What a fine opportunity to plant with plants that are both native and xeric (adapted to hot, dry growing conditions). Here is a link at the Wildflower Center that lists and describes plants native to New Mexico that you might consider using.

 In addition to choosing landscaping plants carefully you might also take a look at what is growing around the new play area and make sure there are no poisonous plants in that environment. Seeds from them could also germinate in the play area. New Mexico State University has a PowerPoint presentation available that has excellent photos of common range and “weed” plants in your area that are poisonous. To download the powerpoint go here, scroll down to "Poisonous Plants" and click on it. This will initiate the download of a ppt presentation titled "Poisonous Range Plants" by: Kelly W. Allred (Range Science Herbarium, Department of Animal &Range Sciences, New Mexico State University).

The New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Program has agents in each county in New Mexico. These folks should be able to help you identify plants found in your area that you want to avoid. The Guadalupe County Extension office is in Santa Rosa:

244 S. 4th Street - Suite 110
Santa Rosa, NM 88435
Phone: 575-472-3652
Fax: 575-472-3652
Email: guadalup@nmsu.edu
URL: http://guadalupeextension.nmsu.edu

Lists of common landscaping plants that are poisonous are available at:

1. the Texas A&M Cooperative Extension website

2. University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension website

3. The College of Pharmacy of the University of Arizona also has a good list, with descriptions and photos, of poisonous ornamental/ horticultural plants.

 

 

 

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Poison Ivy in Semi-wetland Massachusetts
June 27, 2013 - You answered this question for Tennessee, but I would like an answer for a Massachusetts semi-wetlands area: What can I plant to discourage poison ivy, or at least make it very clear that it is poison...
view the full question and answer

Local native plant for grave marker in Washington
December 30, 2005 - Dear wildflower expert, Our friendís dog died, and is buried in western Washington, near the town of Monroe. My wife is from central Texas, and thought a Texas perennial would be a nice marker. ...
view the full question and answer

Can hackberry twigs and leaves be safely used in compost?
March 05, 2009 - If Hackberry trees and leaves have growth inhibiting compounds, should they not be used in compost piles?
view the full question and answer

Poisonous weeds in Bedford County, PA
June 21, 2010 - I am battling my second bad round of poison in a month, this time on my face and in my left eye. It's awful. Problem is, I have looked and looked for poison ivy, oak and sumac around my neighborhoo...
view the full question and answer

How to get rid of poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans)
April 25, 2007 - Our school grounds are infested with lots of poison ivy. What is best remedy for extensive growth?
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