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

Sunday - October 12, 2008

From: Butler, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Non-toxic, non-invasive native flowers for horses
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi I have a couple areas in and bordering horse pastures that I would like to plant with native flowers. I can find lists of toxic flowers but not non toxic native ones. Id like non -toxic non-invasive native flowers does such a list exist?. In particular are the hyssops toxic to horses. Thanks

ANSWER:

As far as I know, there are no lists that contain only non-toxic, non-invasive native plants; but, as you say, there are lists of toxic plants.  Here are several toxic plant databases:

Universtiy of Pennsylvania's Poisonous Plants Database

Poisonous Plants of North Carolina

Cornell University's Plants Poisonous to Livestock and other Animals

Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System

Texas Toxic Plant Database

In the five toxic databases above, I could find no listing of any species that has the common name of hyssop (Genus AgastacheGenus Bacopa or Genus Gatriola).  So—even though absence from a list is not a guarantee that a species has no toxicity, absence from 5 different lists makes a better case that the plant is not toxic.

Now, for other flowers you might like to plant there, you can check on the five lists above for their toxicity.  I suggest that you look them up under their scientific names rather than by their common names since the scientific names are generally standard no matter where you live.  If you visit our Recommended Species page and select 'Pennsylvania' from the map there, you will bring up a list of commercially-available native plants recommended for Pennsylvania.  You can also find a "Roadside Use of Native Plants" list for Pennsylvania from the US Dept. of Transportation Federal Highway Administration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

More Poisonous Plants Questions

New house plant in pot in Chevy Chase MD
May 07, 2010 - Is it possible for one house plant to eventually die in the pot while a completely different plant grows in its place? The new plant looks similar to the potted plant next to it but it is not quite t...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen hedge non-toxic for horses and goats in Muskogee, OK
March 31, 2009 - I live in northeastern Oklahoma. I am trying to find an evergreen hedge, 6-8 ft in height, 4-6 ft spread that is not harmful to horses or goats. Everything that I have found is for Zone 8 or 9.
view the full question and answer

How to Remove Pokeweed in Greenburg, Pennsylvania
September 10, 2010 - Last year I purchased a home with 3 acres of land and it is infested with pokeweeds,Phytolacca americana! I have small children and know this is a poisonous plant. Could you please tell me a way to ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of plant with orange sap that glows at night
June 06, 2012 - I was just pulling up a plant and noticed that its sap was a kind of orange then I noticed it glowing orange at night. What kind of plant is this and is it dangerous?
view the full question and answer

Fast-growing tree for horse arena in Southern California
July 06, 2011 - I live in Trabuco Canyon, CA, and we just lost an old Sycamore in our horse arena. I would like to replace it with some thing that is fast growing, and will be able to withstand life around horses, o...
view the full question and answer

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