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
2 ratings

Sunday - December 16, 2012

From: Naperville, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Poisonous Plants, Vines
Title: Lonicera sempervirens not harmful to dogs from Naperville IL
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Is the trumpet honeysuckle (lonicera sempervirens) harmful to dogs if eaten? I have been told in the past that the common trumpet vine is harmful, but this appears to be different. Thank you!!


We think you have two native vines confused -  Campsis radicans (Trumpet creeper) and Lonicera sempervirens (Coral honeysuckle). However, the scientific name you gave us, Lonicera sempervirens (Coral honeysuckle), is certainly correct, and both it and Campsis radicans (Trumpet creeper) are native to Illinois. You can follow the plant links to our webpages on both. Neither have any indication of being poisonous on their webpages, but Campsis radicans (Trumpet creeper) has sap that can cause skin irritation on contact. Both of these vines are capable of being invasive, but the trumpet creeper can be really  invasive, so the honeysuckle would be preferable. 

Just for your own comfort level, here are some plant lists you can consult when you are concerned about whether a plant might be harmful to your dogs:

Poisonous Plants of North Carolina

Texas Toxic Plant Database

Cornell University Plants Poisonous to Livestock

University of Pennsylvania Poisonous Plants Database

Plus, none of the lists specific for dogs (Humane Society of the United States, the ASPCA and Doberdogs) that I found has it named.


From the Image Gallery

Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

Trumpet creeper
Campsis radicans

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Is non-native cotoneaster poisonous to goats from Eureka CA
August 19, 2011 - I have heard that cotoneaster is poisonous to goats and other animals. We are trying to get rid of it in our yard, but I was hoping we could use goats to eat it back. What are our options in removin...
view the full question and answer

Fast-growing tree for horse arena in Southern California
July 06, 2011 - I live in Trabuco Canyon, CA, and we just lost an old Sycamore in our horse arena. I would like to replace it with some thing that is fast growing, and will be able to withstand life around horses, o...
view the full question and answer

Identification of bush/vine with purple berries
August 09, 2014 - I was clearing fence line and came across this plant it looks like a Bush but underneath grows like a vine it has long broad leaves that reminded me of Polk salad but it grows berry clusters the berri...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for shade in Duval County, Florida
September 17, 2014 - What low growing ground cover would be good for a lake edge area. This area is shaded with overlying woodland type trees. I planted some autumn ferns but they have getting overrun with poison ivy. I a...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen trees for California that are non-toxic for dogs
February 19, 2014 - Hi, we live in California, San Bernardino County and would like to know what evergreen trees are safe to plant in our backyard with 2 little dogs being around. I did quite some search online but ever...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center