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
6 ratings

Sunday - January 25, 2009

From: Buckeye, AZ
Region: Southwest
Topic: Edible Plants
Title: Are yellow bells (Tecoma stans) edible?
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Can you tell me if any part of the yellow bell can be eaten and if so what part. Also is it useful in making natural paints?

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants assumes you mean Tecoma stans (yellow bells or yellow trumpetbush) and not Fritillaria pudica (yellow missionbells) or the South African native, Bauhinia tomentosa (yellow bell orchid tree).

I could find no reference that any part of Tecoma stans is edible.  It is not listed in Delena Tull's Edible and Useful Plants of Texas and the Southwest nor in Peterson's Field Guide to Edible Plants:  Eastern and Central North America and I could find no entry for it in the Native American Ethnobotany database. Nor could I find any indication in my favorite poisonous plant databases (Poisonous Plants of North Carolina, Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System, Cornell University Plants Poisonous to Livestock or other Animals or Texas Toxic Plant Database) that it is toxic.

Although not considered a food item, the plant, according to information from the US Forest Service, has been used in traditional folk medicine to treat various conditions and has been reported to lessen the symptoms of diabetes mellitus in mice, rats, and dogs.  It is listed on the Western Herbal Medicine website as a treatment for gastrointestinal problems as well as for yeast (Candida albicans) infections.  The Southwest School of Botanical Medical webpage reports on studies for the use of an infusion T. stans in the treatment of diabetes mellitus. You can read a list of the constituents of the plant on their webpage.


Tecoma stans

Tecoma stans

Tecoma stans

Tecoma stans

 

 

More Edible Plants Questions

Is Thalia dealbata toxic to dogs?
May 16, 2011 - A pond in a park frequented by dogs contains Thalia dealbata and I have seen numerous dogs eating the roots with relish, which we discourage, of course. They seem to really enjoy it though. Aft...
view the full question and answer

Patience pays off with chile pequin in Austin
September 24, 2011 - Hello. Re my June 08, 2011 message -- Guess what! The chile pequin is finally flowering and setting fruit in its container on my apartment patio. You said patience, you were right, and hooray once aga...
view the full question and answer

Does molasses make glutinous corn palatable from The Philippines
November 06, 2011 - What would be the effect of molasses in the growth of glutinous corn?? Does molasses make the plant palatable?
view the full question and answer

Information about Citrus mitis
June 26, 2008 - I was given a Citrus Mitis plant. It has beautiful white flowers and delicious looking tiny oranges.everyone in my office is asking if they're edible?
view the full question and answer

List of plants native to the Abilene, Texas area
September 15, 2011 - Am looking for direction to a complete list of plants native to the Abilene, Taylor County, Texas area (trees, shrubs, grasses, cacti and other plants that grew here before cultivation, eradication or...
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 | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center