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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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!

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Sunday - July 01, 2012

From: Sacramento, CA
Region: California
Topic: Non-Natives, Poisonous Plants, Drought Tolerant, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs, Trees
Title: California plants poisonous to dogs from Sacramento
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Found dodonea viscosa purple. Is it poisonous to dogs? Also Gold Star Potentilla. Going drought tolerant and need small trees, shrubs and plants not poisonous to dogs for sun and partial sun.

ANSWER:

Dasiphora fruticosa ssp. floribunda (Golden-hardhack) is native to North America as well as Sacramento County, CA. Here is another website on Dasiphora fruticosa (Shrubby cinquefoil) 'Gold Star,' which looks like another species of the same plant that has been given a trade name.

Here is a website on 'Dodonea viscosa 'Purpurea' which is native to Australia and New Zealand and is therefore out of our range of expertise, as we recommend only plants native to the area in which they are being grown.

Here is a previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer that will give you resources for searching for poisonous plants; it is always more accurate to search on the scientific names.

For your other California native plant needs, we want to refer you to Las Pilitas Nursery. It has lots more plants listed than we do, with pictures and care instructions. Between that and the lists of poisonous plants, you should be in good shape!

 

From the Image Gallery


Shrubby cinquefoil
Dasiphora fruticosa ssp. floribunda

Shrubby cinquefoil
Dasiphora fruticosa

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