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?


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

Tuesday - September 11, 2012

From: RENO, NV
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Poisonous Plants, Vines
Title: Want a vine, non-toxic to dogs, for Reno, NV.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills


I want a non toxic (to dogs) vine for Reno, NV


A caveat at the beginning; the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is all about native plants, and this will necessarily limit the number of suggestions we are able to make

We are going to do this in two steps: first, we’ll use our Native Plants Database to find vines for Reno, and then we’ll check them out using several toxic plant databases.

To consider plants, lets go to our Native Plant Database,  and scroll down to the Combination Search Box. Select Nevada under State, vine under General Appearance and perennial under Lifespan. Check sun under light requirement, dry under Soil Moisture, and click the Submit combination search button. This gives you a list of two native vines that occur in Washoe County. If you repeat the search, this time using California as the state and leaving the other choices the same, you get a larger list, but only two of the species occur in counties adjacent to Nevada, and may be able to grow in your area.

Here’s a short list of vines that occur in and around Washoe County.

Parthenocissus vitacea (Hiedra creeper)  toxicity

Rubus leucodermis (Whitebark raspberry)  more info

Clematis lasiantha (Pipestem clematis)  toxicity    

Lonicera hispidula (Pink honeysuckle)  toxicity 

Lets look at databases of toxic plants. When you use the databases, it is better to use the scientific names of the plants that you are looking for. You will find three of the listed plants in at least one of the databases. In the case of Clematis and Lonicera, the species name on our list isn't mentioned, but the fact that there are toxic members of the genus is of concern.


North Carolina 


So it appears that Rubus leucodermis is the only native vine that is nontoxic and occurs in Washoe County. You may want to get in touch with the Nevada Native Plant Society  or University of Nevada Cooperative Extension for further advice.



More Poisonous Plants Questions

Dogs developing allergic skin problems in Waco TX
February 24, 2011 - We have 2 West Highland White terriers..since we moved 2 yrs. ago, they have developed TERRIBLE skin problems at our new home, about 5 miles from our old home, in Waco. What contact plants, shrub...
view the full question and answer

Trees poisonous to horses from Landrum SC
April 15, 2012 - Please tell me if the following trees are poisonous to horses: hickory, beech, poplar, and redbud. Thank you very much.
view the full question and answer

Plants for farm animals from East Greenwich RI
May 03, 2014 - What type of perennial flowers and shrubs are safe to plant around farm animals (dogs, horses, chickens, turkeys) in New England climate?
view the full question and answer

Plants for exotic pets
May 14, 2012 - I need to know what are some good native non-toxic plants for these species: Porcelain roach (Gyna lurida) from Kenya, Africa. Giant cave roach (Blaberus giganteus) from Central and South Americ...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for Orange County, Florida
April 14, 2012 - I live in Central FL (Winter Park)and I have a small, mostly sunny (no trees) backyard next to a large in-ground swimming pool which fills up with the leaves of my neighbor's oak trees. The backyard ...
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center