En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - June 18, 2012

From: Park Ridge, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Poisonous Plants, Vines
Title: Non-native vines poisonous to animals from Park Ridge IL
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I have a Star Jasmine and sambac Philipine Jasmine Plant . Are they poisonous to cats or dogs. I have them in the house.


Trachelospermum jasminoides (Star Jasmine, Confederate Jasmine) is native to Japan, Korea, Southern China and Vietnam.

Jasminum Phillipine Sambac (Sambas Phillipine Jasmine) is native to South and Southeast Asia.

As such, neither is native to North America, which is our focus at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants. Therefore, they will not be in our Native Plant Database; we did some searching on some other websites. The only warning we found on either of these plants concerned their invasiveness and ability to take over a landscape, damaging more desirable plants and trees. So, we would not recommend planting them outside, although the cold winters in Illinois might keep them from becoming invasive.

Here are some poisonous plant databases that you should check when you are concerned about plants and animals. Search on the scientific name, as common names can be confusing.



More Poisonous Plants Questions

Plants toxic to dogs
December 08, 2005 - Can you tell me where I can get information on plants poisonious to dogs? Deck and yard plants. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Are seeds of Tecoma stans (yellow bells) toxic to birds
June 22, 2008 - We have several Tacoma Stans in our yard and several pets (dogs & a Cockatoo). My Too is very interested in the beans of this plant. Are the beans poisonous to birds? Dogs?
view the full question and answer

Trimming non-native sago from Fresno CA
September 10, 2012 - I have a sago plant, fronds are hanging over into street, can the fronds themselves be trimmed back without removing the whole frond?
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

Injury while pulling weeds in Chandler TX
November 18, 2009 - I stabbed my self this last weekend when pulling roots from a bed so i'm not sure what it was. At the time it was a sharp pain so I pulled off my glove to look at it,barely scratched the skin so on I...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center