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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.

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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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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.

 

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