Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

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

Friday - June 29, 2012

From: Fowler, CA
Region: Southwest
Topic: Poisonous Plants, Vines
Title: Vine non-toxic to alpacas and dogs from Fowler CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We have alpacas and would like to plant a flowering vine on a backyard fence that adjoins the pasture. We live in Central California so we have many hot days during the summer and would like a plant that needs minimal watering. We also are looking for a vine that is non-toxic to our dogs and alpacas. What would you recommend? Thank you so very much for your time.

ANSWER:

We can certainly give you a list of vines native to California and to the area of Fresno County. We think this is important because California, like Texas, has several different and distinctive vegetation areas, ranging from the redwoods to the desert. One problem for us is that you failed to tell us if the vines would grow in shade or sun. When you use the Native Plant Database to make your own search, that is one of the things you can specify.

We can provide you with lists of toxic plants, including at least one for dogs, but alpacas may have a different digestive system. In particular, they will be accustomed to eating plants non-native to North America, which will not appear in our Native Plant Database.  There are a number of websites, some of which you may already be familiar with, on the foods alpaca like and can digest without damage to the animal. If you have not already seen it, we suggest you begin with:

What do alpacas eat?

Next, please read this Mr. Smarty Plants previous answer on veterinarian's lists of poisonous plants for animals. It is better to search on these lists with the scientific name of the plant, as common names can be very confusing.

When we searched on our database, there were 10 vines on the list, of which only 3 came close to being native to Fresno County, and 1, Clematis lasiantha (Pipestem clematis), is listed as being poisonous. Follow each plant link to our webpage on that vine. Scroll down the page to Additional Resources, where you can search on Google for more information on each plant. Since there were disappointingly few choices of vines, you might want to go to our Native Plant Database and perhaps search on shrubs or small trees as an alternative.

Vines Native to Fresno Co., CA:

Calystegia macrostegia (Island false bindweed)

Lonicera hispidula (Pink honeysuckle)

Maurandella antirrhiniflora (Climbing snapdragon)

 

From the Image Gallery


Island false bindweed
Calystegia macrostegia

Pink honeysuckle
Lonicera hispidula

Snapdragon vine
Maurandella antirrhiniflora

More Vines Questions

Questions about Clematis virginiana in Austin, TX.
August 26, 2011 - Hello! I have a few questions regarding Clematis virginiana. Is it scented? Does it attract birds and butterflies? Do only female flowers get the feathery plumes? If yes, how do I know if ...
view the full question and answer

Does Virginia creeper cause a rash?
July 09, 2015 - Does Virginia creeper cause a rash to everyone or those who are only allergic as in an allergy like a peanut allergy? Is it something that should be avoided like poison ivy? And does the sap stick to ...
view the full question and answer

Niagara and Concord grape crop failure
September 01, 2008 - Hi, I have been growing niagara grapes and concord grapes for 3 years now and this year I found myself without any fruits. The plant itself if full of leaves and is healthy. I was wondering why this w...
view the full question and answer

Ivy a suitable ground cover in Live Oaks from Gulfport MS
April 17, 2014 - Will Ivy be a safe and suitable ground cover for old growth Live Oak trees in coastal Mississippi?
view the full question and answer

Vine for privacy on a deck in Southern California
December 10, 2009 - I am looking for a climbing vine/plant that is non-flowering and can be grown year round in Southern California. We are looking to help create a private area along a deck for my grandmother because h...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.