Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Wednesday - April 01, 2009

From: Archer, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Non-toxic shade trees for horses in Florida
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Looking for non poisonous shade trees for pasture with horses. Would prefer flowering or something that changes color. Thank you.

ANSWER:

First of all, Mr. Smarty Plants wants to refer you to some plants to AVOID for your horses.  Please see the lists from the following sources:

10 Most Poisonous Plants for Horses from EquiSearch.com

Poisonous Plants from Trailblazer Magazine

Toxic Plants: Horses from the ASPCA

Horse Nutrition: Poisonous Plants from Ohio State University

Next, Mr. Smarty Plants refers you to our Recommended Species page to find native plants that are commerically available in Florida.  You can select 'Florida' from the map or pulldown menu and then NARROW YOUR SEARCH by selecting 'Tree' from the Habit (general appearance) option.

You can also find a list of recommended species from near your area (Suwannee County) from the Florida Native Plant Society.

Finally, Mr. Smarty Plants refers you to some toxic plant databases that you can check for the plants you like.  These would be:  Poisonous Plants of North Carolina, Cornell University Plants Poisonous to Livestock, Texas Toxic Plant Database, and University of Pennsylvania Poisonous Plants.  When you find a tree that you would like to plant in your pasture, you can compare it with these lists to see if it is safe for your horses.  From the two Florida Recommended species lists mentioned above, Mr. Smarty Plants has chosen several species and checked them against the toxic plant databases.  These species are:

Cornus florida (flowering dogwood) with beautiful flowers and fall foliage

Chionanthus virginicus (white fringetree)

Castanea pumila (chinkapin) with flowers and unusual fruits/seeds.  Here are more photos and information.

Cercis canadensis (eastern redbud)

Ptelea trifoliata (common hoptree) with beautiful flowers and unusual fruits/seeds


Cornus florida

Cornus florida

Chionanthus virginicus

Castanea pumila

Cercis canadensis

Ptelea trifoliata

Ptelea trifoliata
 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Plants for shaded area under pecan trees
May 11, 2011 - The east side of our Houston home has a 15 foot strip overhung with pecan trees. The shade by the start of summer is so dense that grass dies pretty quickly. I'd like to keep enough grass for the k...
view the full question and answer

Reseeding a dead lawn in Wimberley TX
February 07, 2012 - Our new house had a sodded lawn that now appears dead. There remains a layer of sandy soil as a part of the sodding process. Is there a way to reseed these existing slabs of sod and what process wo...
view the full question and answer

Shade tree for horses in North Virginia
October 16, 2009 - I need to plant a shade tree for my horses and am considering a fast growing tree called an Empress Tree(paulownia). It would be outside of their fenced area but close enough to provide shade for the...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping in shade in Round Rock, TX
May 04, 2010 - I have a flower bed that is 3' deep by 15' wide. It is in front of my front porch. Half of it only gets sun right now from about 3:30-5pm (a little filtered sun for maybe another hour). The other ha...
view the full question and answer

Planting shade plants in 100+ weather
June 25, 2009 - I was planning on planting some columbines in a barrel and Turk's Cap and Coralberry in my yard, but hadn't counted on the extreme heat this early in the summer. Is it okay to plant these things as...
view the full question and answer

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