Have Pet Questions?

Sign Up for our Newsletter

Your information is safe and secure with us; please read out privacy policy for more details.

Bear Grass

Severity scale:
Caution
This toxin is considered to be a moderate risk. However, your pet's medical history, age, weight, and breed could put him/her at higher risk. It is advised that you contact whiskerDocs or your primary veterinarian for further guidance about any steps you may need to take to ensure your pet's safety. If you choose to, you may monitor your pet closely, but the onset or worsening of any of the below symptoms warrants a trip to the emergency room.

These plants look like an ornamental grass but are really shrubs from the Lily family, which explains their toxicity. Often used as a base for flower arrangements, they are native to southwestern and southern united states and grow in the desert and higher wooded areas. Bear Grass can also be sold as ornamental plants for gardening in dry areas. Bear grasses have evergreen, thin, 3 foot long grass-like leaves that grow in clumps.  The woody flower stalks can be 6 feet high. The flowers and seeds are small and greenish white on branches of the same color.  This plant blooms in late spring and early summer.

Other names: 
Sacahuista, Sacahuiste, Palmilla sacahuista, Small-seed Nolina, Basketgrass, Sawgrass, Texas sacahuista, Devil’s shoestring, ornamental grass, flower arrangement grass. There are 14 species of Nolina that are all toxic, including anything with the words beargrass, nolina, or sacahuista in the name.
Toxic to: 
Dogs and Cats
Part of plant: 
flowers, leaves, and seeds
Symptoms: 
diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, mouth and throat swelling, sensitivity to touch of abdomen, muscle twitching, convulsions within 2-24 hours; Cats may go into serious, acute kidney failure following ingestion
whiskerDocs' content is for informational purposes only. Read our Terms.