En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Are yellow bells (Tecoma stans) edible?

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
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

Use of cenizo (Leucophyllum frutescens) for tea
February 20, 2006 - Back in the 50's when I spent the summers with my grandmother south of Hondo, Texas, she use to pick leaves from the cenizo (purple sage) bushes, dry them and then brew them for tea. I asked one of m...
view the full question and answer

Edible forest garden for northern Minnesota
March 07, 2014 - I am planning an edible forest garden for northern Minnesota. Can you suggest a list of plants that are native to this area. We are in zone 3a or 3b. Thank you!
view the full question and answer

Problems with blueberries from Kernersville NC
April 29, 2012 - My blueberry plants have no leaves or scrawny ones. I have 13 plants, 5 of them are like this.
view the full question and answer

Can I make my large pecan trees produce larger nuts?
November 14, 2013 - I have 2 older large pecan trees about 40' tall but the nuts are very small, only about 1 1/2". What can I do to get larger nuts?
view the full question and answer

Bitterness in cucumbers
June 24, 2006 - Bitter Cukes: We have a question about Burpless Burpee cucumbers. We've planted them with success several years in a row in our Austin backyard. This year, although the cucumbers look fine, they a...
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