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
2 ratings

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

Source of seeds for Schisandra glabra (bay starvine)
June 21, 2008 - Hi, I am looking for an herbal plant, Schisandra. It bears red berries. Please let me know where I can find/ buy this plant. Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Location of Taxus baccata
March 30, 2011 - Where in the USA may I purchase taxus baccata? I can't find them anywhere on the internet or at local nurseries. I need about 125! So, saplings would be preferred even though they are slow growing...
view the full question and answer

Source of Calycanthus floridus in Lincolnton NC
May 14, 2010 - I have been trying to find a Calycanthus Floridus, I want to plant them around the house, but have had no luck. I live in Lincolnton, NC do you know of any place I can find them?
view the full question and answer

Where to buy native grass seeds for Blanco County Texas
April 07, 2010 - Can you recommend what kind and where to buy native grass seeds to sow on land in Blanco County which has just been cleared of cedar and burned?
view the full question and answer

Source for native plants in Margaretville NY
April 19, 2010 - Mr. Smarty Plants: Thank you so much for your recommendations for the Margaretville, NY!!! I am thrilled with the colors of everything you recommended, especially the beautiful grasses and the shru...
view the full question and answer

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