Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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?

Share

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Thursday - September 10, 2015

From: Belton, MO
Region: Midwest
Topic: Poisonous Plants, Shrubs
Title: Non-toxic evergreen shrub around duck pen
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I live in Zone 6a, and am looking for a non-toxic evergreen shrub to use around our fence that pens in our ducks. It doesn't have to be native to our particular state. I have 74 feet of fence on the side we want to address first.

ANSWER:

We must tell you that we are bound by our mission and by institutional philosophy to recommend only those plant species native to a given area.  This is the very heart of what we do and what we're all about.  Unfortunately, we do not know of a single evergreen shrub species native to your area that would be suitable for the use you describe.  In general, though, unless your shrubs are fruit-bearing, there is little likelihood that your ducks will pay much attention to them.  Some shrubs, such as hollies, have male and female plants.  If choosing such a species, look for male cultivars.

 

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Searching for poisonous plants from Kansas City
November 13, 2010 - Looking on how to acquire wourali vine, upas, or arrow poison wood.
view the full question and answer

Are Chilean Mesquite pods poisonous to dogs?
July 12, 2010 - Are chilean Mesquite tree pods poisonous to dogs?
view the full question and answer

Is Poison ivy always rooted in the ground?
November 11, 2015 - Does Poison ivy on a tree always start at the ground and climb up the tree or can it start producing its vine and leaves by itself at the top of the tree or middle?
view the full question and answer

Precautions to take with Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Arisaema triphyllum
September 13, 2009 - Are there precautions to take, such as wearing gloves while separating the seeds from the Jack In The Pulpit berries. The photos I have seen have gloved hands. I've read that the plant is toxic if in...
view the full question and answer

Weeds safe for rabbits to eat
January 21, 2009 - I have several types of weeds running rampant in my large backyard. I can't seem to keep up with them. I have a couple rabbits and was wondering if the weeds are edible and would be okay to feed to...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.