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

Sunday - April 14, 2013

From: Plainfield, NH
Region: Northeast
Topic: Poisonous Plants, Wildflowers
Title: Lupinus perennis Poisonous to Dogs?
Answered by: Anne Van Nest


I have heard that some lupine varieties are quite poisonous to dogs, others are not. Do you know if it's safe for my dogs if I plant and encourage Lupinus perennis in my NH meadow?


Take a look at this previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer about the toxicity of Lupinus species for cattle.

Here’s what was said about the sundial lupine… Lupinus perennis (listed as toxic by the Poisonous Plants of Pennsylvania database) is the only member of the genus specifically designated as poisonous. Poisonous Plants of North Carolina lists all Lupinus species as toxic if large quantities of seeds are eaten.

An internet search also revealed issues with ruminants and lupines (specifically with goats (all parts of the plant are poisonous, especially pods with seeds) and cattle grazing.

There is more information about the toxicity of Lupinus perennis on the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center website… Warning: Plants in the genus Lupinus, especially the seeds, can be toxic to humans and animals if ingested. POISONOUS PARTS: Seeds. Toxic only if eaten in large quantities. Symptoms include respiratory depression and slow heartbeat, sleepiness, convulsions. Toxic Principle: Alkaloids such as lupinine, anagyrine, sparteine, and hydroxylupanine. (Poisonous Plants of N.C.)

After reviewing all this information, there is certainly the possibility that this lupine could cause illness or death, particularly if your dog is prone to grazing on plants. Lupinus perennis is a beautiful plant, is a valuable plant for wildlife and makes a wonderful meadow, but you will have to make the final decision about its compatibility for your dog.


From the Image Gallery

Sundial lupine
Lupinus perennis

Sundial lupine
Lupinus perennis

Sundial lupine
Lupinus perennis

More Wildflowers Questions

What about the Bluebonnets at Muleshoe Bend Recreational Area in Spicewood, TX ?
April 27, 2015 - We had heard about vast field of bluebonnets out at Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area - an LCRA park in Spicewood. We went out today and there are indeed vast fields . . . all where Lake Travis would be ...
view the full question and answer

Wildseed Planting in a drought
September 14, 2011 - Due to the extreme drought and no rain in the near future in central Texas would it be prudent to have a wildseed planting in October?
view the full question and answer

Earliest spring wildflower from Richardson TX
September 29, 2009 - What spring wildflower is consistently among the first to bloom in North Texas?"
view the full question and answer

Neighborhood association wanting wildflowers mowed from Grand Prairie TX
July 14, 2013 - For at least 15 years, I have been fostering growth of wildflowers in 60% of my 90x400' yard which include 150' utility trunkline easement in which I can plant no trees. This year, we had volunteer ...
view the full question and answer

Native flowers for September wedding in Kittanning PA
October 27, 2010 - I am planting flowers for a wedding on September 17th 2010. What flowers bloom best. Looking for blues,whites and pinks.
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