En Español

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

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

Recommendations for a slope in Margaretville, NY
April 21, 2010 - Mr. Smarty Plants, We really love all of your ideas on our 60 degree bank needing plants to keep the topsoil in place. The grasses you suggested are beautiful!!!! They will look incredible against the...
view the full question and answer

Will Copper Canyon Daisy be at the Plant Sale from Georgetown TX
March 21, 2011 - Can you find out if Copper Canyon Daisy will be sold at the plant sale? I'm having trouble finding it in any of your databases. The scientific name is Asteraceae Tagetes lemmonii. It's a shrubby ...
view the full question and answer

Donation of seeds of Silphium Terebinthinaceum to India
October 03, 2009 - Hi, I am located in India. I am planning to plant Silphium Terebinthinaceum in my garden in India. Please let me know who can donate me seeds to India. I need 20-30 seeds.
view the full question and answer

Source for materials for making seedballs
September 01, 2008 - Regarding your answer to the person looking for Red Clay for making seedballs: The Red Clay can be found at Armadillo Clay in Austin, TX. (The inquirer lives in Round Rock). The Wildflower Center arti...
view the full question and answer

Source for plants or seeds of Pedicularis densiflora
December 14, 2006 - Do you know where I might obtain Pedicularis densiflora live plants or viable seeds. I understand that this plant is native to Oregon and California and is semi-parasitic and needs a host plant to dr...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center