En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - November 10, 2008

From: Tucson, AZ
Region: Southwest
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources
Title: Is Cissus trifoliata a food source for wildlife?
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We apparently have Cissus Trifoliata growing around and over our porch.I was thinking about trying to remove it and plant grape vines instead as our desert tortoises will eat grape leaves. My question is whether or not this (native)vine is a food source for wildlife (including tortoises) or if there will be little impact if I remove it from my yard.

ANSWER:

Cissus trifoliata (sorrelvine) has somewhat fleshy leaves which may cause skin irritation for some people. The small  berries are inedible, and the leaves have a bad odor when crushed. We could not find evidence that it is a significant food source for any wildlife, including the desert tortoise. Since there is the possibility of skin irritation, there might be some chemical component in the plant that is not good for consumption by wildlife, although we don't know this for sure. However, in view of the possibility of irritation and the bad odor, it does not seem worth it to keep it on your porch, if you would prefer to replace it with grapevines, thus providing leaves for your tortoise's dinner. 


Cissus trifoliata

Cissus trifoliata

Cissus trifoliata

Cissus trifoliata

 

 

More Seed and Plant Sources Questions

Resources for wildlife garden in Maryland
September 10, 2007 - I've recently bought a home in Cambridge in Dorchester County on Maryland's Eastern Shore. I want my small garden to have native plants that will sustain birds, butterflies and visiting wildlife. ...
view the full question and answer

Endangered plants of Maryland
March 06, 2009 - My high school would like to plant endangered plant species of Maryland in our wetlands, but we do not know where we can acquire these plants. Do you know of a place where we could buy endangered plan...
view the full question and answer

Finding climate zone before puchasing plants in Springdale AR
October 24, 2010 - I should be allowed to select my climate zone, my state has at least 3 zones. Then this would be a terrific help in identifying which plants I should buy.
view the full question and answer

Sources of native plants for Marin County, CA
June 30, 2005 - Where in Marin County, California can I get native area plants?
view the full question and answer

Sources of information for design of prairie meados in Georgia
January 25, 2006 - Dear Ms. Smarty Plants, I am designing a prairie meadow in Covington GA (Zone 7) at the edge of piedmont and coastal ecosystems, primarily lower piedmont. I am trying to restore a 1/2-acre site over ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center