En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Is Cissus trifoliata a food source for wildlife?

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

Landscapers in Austin area
January 02, 2012 - Can you recommend 2-3 Landscapers in the Austin area that I could get to landscape my yard? or where can I get this information?
view the full question and answer

Native plants and sources for Little Rock, Ark.
August 20, 2007 - I live in Little Rock, Arkansas. What Type of native plants will grow here? Do you know a on-line store I can purchase them?
view the full question and answer

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

Looking for Irises for Coryell County, TX.
May 07, 2012 - I'm looking for a hearty plant for Coryell County, TX. My mother always referred to these plants as "flags." I assume it is a type of iris. I'm looking for the one that will survive in the Cent...
view the full question and answer

Source for Escarpment Black Cherry trees in Austin
January 04, 2010 - I live in Central Texas and I am looking for a tree farm or nursery that has Escarpment Black Cherry trees. They seem to be quite hard to find. Are you aware of any local nurseries that might carry t...
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