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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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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

QUESTION:

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

ANSWER:

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.

California

North Carolina 

Pennsylvania 

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.

 

 

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