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

Tuesday - September 30, 2008

From: Seven Valleys, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Toxic trees and shrubs in Pennsylvania
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a long property edge that I have been gradually transforming from a former cattle pasture into a hedgerow of native trees and shrubs. Cattle still graze on the other side. Are there any toxic central PA native shrubs/trees I should be avoiding?

ANSWER:

If you do a COMBINATION SEARCH in our Native Plant Database, you can find a list of the native trees and/or shrubs of Pennsylvania by selecting Pennsylvania from the "Select State or Province" option and then choosing 'Tree' or 'Shrub' from the "Habit (general appearance)" option.  You can then search for the plant's botanical (Latin) name in the University of Pennsylvania's Poisonous Plants database.  For instance, the leaves of  Acer rubrum (red maple) are toxic to horses and the sprouts, leaves and seed of Aesculus spp. [Aesculus flava (yellow buckeye) and Aesculus glabra (Ohio buckeye)] are poisonous to livestock.  As well as the University of Pennsylvania's Poisonous Plants database, there are also the Cornell University Plants Poisonous to Livestock, the Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System, the Poisonous Plants of North Carolina and the Texas Toxic Plants databases that you can check your plants against.

 

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Pruning smooth azalea in NJ
July 12, 2011 - I have a Smooth Azalea growing in my woods. It was verified by the Master Gardeners of Burlington County New Jersey. It's 12 feet tall and lanky. Can it be trimmed in hopes of thickening up? If s...
view the full question and answer

Teucrium resistant to Verticillium Wilt?
April 20, 2015 - Is Teucrium frutescans, or Bush Germander resistant to Verticillium Wilt? I cannot find it on a list anywhere.
view the full question and answer

Plants for steep slope in California
November 13, 2010 - Where do I find out about the specific root structure of various California native plants? Are there shrubs that have tap roots & hence are good for steep slopes? The genus of any such plants that y...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting adventitious shoots of a mountain laurel in San Antonio
August 20, 2009 - Is it possible to transplant branches (shoots) growing from a mountain laurel that was chopped down? Some are two years old and several feet tall (but not yet blooming) and some as small as a foot. ...
view the full question and answer

Lack of Fruit on Forestiera
March 17, 2013 - I have not been able to get berry production on my elbow bush. I have male and female plants. Is it possible to help with the pollination process? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

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