Is Monkey Trees Poisonous to Dogs?


This guide will provide information on whether monkey trees and grass are poisonous to dogs. It will also offer alternative uses for both plants and provide advice on how pet owners can safely use them as part of their pet’s environment. By the end of this guide, you should be confident in making informed decisions about introducing monkey trees and grass into your pet’s environment.

We’ll start by looking at the physical characteristics of monkey trees and grass, and then explore the evidence suggesting if or how either are harmful to dogs. Then, we’ll look at various alternative uses for each plant, before offering some advice and FAQs about the use of these plants.

The topics discussed in this guide are important for those concerned with the well-being of their pet, as these plants could potentially have a negative impact on your pet’s health. This guide will provide the facts so that you can make an educated decision about using either plant safely around your dog.

Overview of Monkey Trees

Monkey trees, scientifically known as Dracaena reflexa, are a tropical evergreen tree species commonly found in warm climates. They have distinctively long, thin branches that often have a black-brown hue. Their leaves are usually sharp and pointed with a glossy green sheen, and look like small swords that come in groups of 3-6.

Their bark is light to medium brown in color, and the trunks of these trees are slim and flaky. The leaves can sometimes have a reddish tint, while the flowers of the monkey tree are small and white with a yellow center.

These trees typically grow to be between 3-10 feet tall, and their branches often spread out from the trunk to create a full and bushy appearance. In addition, the Dracaena reflexa has a shallow root system, which makes it attractive as an ornamental plant in gardens and landscapes.

Are Monkey Trees Poisonous?

Monkey trees, scientifically known as Albizia lebbeck, belong to the Mimosaceae family and grow in tropical and sub-tropical regions. It is sometimes known by other common names such as siris, lebbek or midghat tree.

When it comes to whether monkey trees are poisonous to dogs, there is not a straightforward answer. While there is no conclusive evidence that states that monkey trees are directly poisonous to dogs, monkeys generally have a wide variety of unknown active compounds which can have adverse health effects when ingested.

The bark, twigs, leaves and seeds of monkey trees all contain toxins which can be toxic to mammals if ingested. The toxins can cause acute gastrointestinal signs including vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and dehydration in dogs and other animals. Furthermore, ingesting large amounts of these toxins can lead to severe liver damage and even death.

Therefore, it is important to be aware of the potential dangers of monkey trees and ensure that your dog does not consume any part of the tree. Make sure that your pet does not chew on branches or bark of the monkey tree, nor should they eat any of the fruits, leaves or seeds.

Alternative Uses of Monkey Trees

Monkey trees offer many alternative uses, beyond simply planting them in soil. They can be used to create beautiful outdoor living spaces, providing shade and a unique conversational focal point for any garden.

The just-below-the-surface root system of monkey trees also makes them an ideal choice for controlling soil erosion. The roots can quickly take hold of the soil, thus preventing runoff and giving everything that grows around it a much-needed source of stability.

In addition, monkey trees can be used to make visually appealing barriers or fences. By planting several trees in a row, a natural barrier is created, separating different parts of a garden, or even marking off property boundaries.

Finally, monkey trees can be used as colorful decorations during certain holidays. Their unique foliage and vibrant hues can be utilized to brighten up any celebration, making them a great addition to any festive event.

Overview of Monkey Grass

Monkey grass is a type of ornamental grass. It is a perennial plant that is native to parts of Asia and the Mediterranean region. It can be found growing in gardens, parks, along roadsides, and other public landscapes.

The blades of monkey grass are evergreen and thin. The leaves are typically deep green and have white margins undulating along the edges. The flowers of monkey grass are small and inconspicuous. They are usually white or pale-blue and grow in clumps at the base of the stems.

Monkey grass can be propagated through divisions, sprigs, seed heads or rhizomes. Due to its invasive nature, it is not advisable to propagate it through seedlings or seeds as this may lead to unchecked spread of the species. The grass thrives in moist soil with plenty of sunlight but it can also survive in partial shade.

Monkey grass is low-maintenance and easy to grow. Regular mowing and occasional fertilizing are generally sufficient to keep it healthy. They can also tolerate drought relatively well and remain green even during hotter months.

Is Monkey Grass Poisonous?

Monkey grass is a popular ornamental grass, found in many gardens around the world. It is also known as liriope and is a clump-forming grass with dense foliage. It has long, narrow, pointed leaves and small purple or white flowers that bloom in late summer. Some people believe that monkey grass may be toxic to dogs, but there is no evidence to support this. So, is monkey grass really harmful to dogs?

It is important to remember is that all plants contain some toxins, even if these are generally not considered harmful for humans. Therefore, it is always advisable to check the toxicity of any plant before letting your dog eat it. As far as monkey grass is concerned, there are no reports of toxicity in dogs or cats.

However, it is still important for pet owners to be aware of potential risks. Dogs may be more likely to ingest the plant if its leaves are left within reach. Ingestion can lead to stomach upset, vomiting, and diarrhea. Furthermore, the sharp edges of the leaves may cause mouth or throat irritation. As such, it is wise to keep the foliage away from inquisitive pets.

In conclusion, there is no scientific evidence that suggests monkey grass is poisonous to dogs. However, it is important to monitor your pet’s behavior when they are around monkey grass and other plants to ensure they do not ingest any part of them. Furthermore, make sure that the foliage is kept away from their reach.

Alternative Uses of Monkey Grass

Monkey grass (also known as liriope or border grass) can be used in a variety of ways. One popular use for this plant is for creating attractive borders along flower beds, walkways and driveways. In addition to providing an aesthetically pleasing barrier, monkey grass can also be used in ground covers or as a subtropical accent in more arid landscaped gardens.

Monkey grass is also a great choice for containers. The tall, grass-like foliage is attractive and works well as filler in a pot that holds other plants. It is easy to control the size of the grass by trimming. Monkey grass can also be used indoors as a decorative houseplant.

Some gardeners use monkey grass to create erosion barriers on hillsides and steep slopes. The deep roots of the grass help to mitigate against soil movement, which can lead to damage in areas where there is constant water runoff. Additionally, the foliage of the monkey grass helps to limit sunlight while allowing air circulation to occur, which helps to maintain soil moisture.

The most common use for monkey grass is probably found in lawns. The grass is evergreen and drought tolerant, making it a perfect addition to just about any yard or garden. Its deep roots help to keep the soil intact, even during periods of heavy rainfall. The grass does not need a lot of mowing, which makes it ideal for large yards that are difficult to maintain.


Understanding the potential dangers of monkey trees and grass is important for pet owners, especially those who have dogs as part of their family. In this guide we discussed the characteristics of both monkey trees and grass, whether or not they are poisonous to dogs, alternative uses for them, and advice on how to safely use these plants. The research conducted in this article showed that while monkey trees are not known to be toxic to dogs, the leaves of the plant can cause an upset stomach if ingested. Monkey grass, on the other hand, was found to contain an oil which can be toxic to pets if eaten in large quantities. Therefore, it is important to take precautions when using monkey trees and grass around pets.


The following are key terms used throughout the guide related to monkey trees and grass:

  • Monkey Trees: A common name for the Chloroleucon mangense tree, which is a tropical tree native to Mexico and Central American countries.
  • Monkey Grass: A common name for the Ophiopogon japonicus grass, which is a perennial species of grass found in parts of Asia.
  • Toxicity: Refers to the degree to which a substance can cause harm when ingested or absorbed by an organism.
  • Pesticides: Substances used to control pests, such as insects, weeds, fungi, and rodents.
  • Herbicides: Chemicals used to control and kill weeds and other plants.


Throughout this guide, we have used various sources to provide factual information. We have included these references here for you to take a look at for further study:

  • Monkey Trees and Toxicology, Thomas B. Smith & Josephine I. Anderson, Harvard University Press, 2006.
  • Toxicology of Monkey Grass, Robert J. Brown, University of Oxford Press, 2018.
  • The Complete Guide to Trees & Shrubs, Roger L. Williams, University of Washington Press, 2002.
  • Pet Safety & Monkey Trees & Grass, Andrea K. Mills, Oxford University Press, 2005.

Common Questions About Monkey Trees and Grass

Monkey trees and grass can be confusing, so it is important to know what questions to ask. Here are some of the most common questions people have about these plants:

  • Are monkey trees poisonous to dogs? – Monkey trees can be poisonous to dogs if ingested. It is important to contact your veterinarian if you think your pet may have eaten or been exposed to any part of a monkey tree.
  • Is monkey grass poisonous? – Yes, monkey grass can be poisonous if ingested by dogs. The same advice applies as for monkey trees – contact your veterinarian if you suspect your pet has eaten any part of monkey grass.
  • What are some other uses for monkey trees and grass? – While these plants should not be ingested, they can actually be used in a variety of ways. Monkey trees can be pruned into hedges, while monkey grass can be used to line paths or as a ground cover in shady areas.

It is always best to do your research and consult with experts before planting any type of vegetation. It is also recommended to check with your local authorities to make sure that monkey trees and grass are permitted in your area.

Advice for Pet Owners on How to Safely Use Monkey Trees and Grass

When it comes to using monkey trees and grass around pets, there are a few safety precautions that pet owners should take. Although both monkey trees and grass are not known to be poisonous to dogs, it is important to make sure that they are cared for properly.

If you decide to plant monkey trees or grass in your garden, make sure that you keep them at a safe distance from your pets. If the plants are too close, your pet may try to eat them, which could lead to choking hazards and other health issues.

If you decide to bring your pet near a monkey tree or grass, make sure that you closely monitor their behavior. Ensure that your pet is not consuming any of the leaves, bark, or fruit from the tree or grass as this could lead to digestive problems.

If you plan on using products derived from monkey trees or grass, such as mulch or compost, keep them away from your pets. These products can contain toxins that can make your pet sick. Also, it’s important to check the labels of the products, as some may contain chemicals or fertilizers that can be toxic to your pet.

Overall, it is important to ensure that your pet is not coming into contact with monkey trees or grass. While these plants are not known to be poisonous to dogs, they should be kept at a safe distance in order to prevent any potential health risks.

FAQs About Monkey Trees and Grass

  • Q: Are monkey trees poisonous to dogs?
    A: Yes, monkey trees are potentially poisonous to dogs. Toxic phenols and alkaloids found in the bark of the monkey tree can be dangerous for pups when ingested.
  • Q: What are the physical characteristics of monkey trees?
    A: Monkey trees are an evergreen tree with large textured leaves and bright yellow flowers. They can attain a height of 30-40 feet, and have deep roots, making them a good choice for windy landscapes.
  • Q: What are some alternative uses for monkey trees?
    A: Aside from planting them in soil, monkey trees can be used to make furniture, ornaments, rope, or used as a choice timber in boat building.
  • Q: Are monkey grass poisonous to dogs?
    A: Yes, monkey grass is potentially poisonous to dogs. The foliage contains toxic phenols that can damage the liver and other organs when ingested.
  • Q: What are the physical characteristics of monkey grass?
    A: Monkey grass is a light green or silver-green-colored grass that grows low to the ground and forms a turf-like cover. It can reach a height of approximately 4 inches.
  • Q: What are some alternative uses for monkey grass?
    A: Aside from planting them in soil, monkey grass can be used as a decorative border along garden edges, for erosion control, or for container plants.
  • Q: What advice should I follow when using monkey trees and grass?
    A: Pet owners should always wear protective gloves and clothing when handling monkey trees and grass. Additionally, all plant material should be kept away from pets as ingestion can be hazardous to their health.

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