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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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Sunday - April 14, 2013

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

QUESTION:

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?

ANSWER:

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

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