En EspaŅol

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
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

Are gourds poisonous, edible?
August 27, 2008 - Are all the Gourds edible? How can I know which one is which? If it is not edible, is it poisonous? If not, what is stopping us from eating them?
view the full question and answer

Landscaping from Wilmington NC
December 22, 2012 - I plan on moving to Belmont NC in the next couple of years and settling down with my future wife in her home town. I am a huge do it yourself person. I love to make things from scratch, including buil...
view the full question and answer

Fruit trees for Buckeye AZ
May 16, 2010 - I am moving to Buckeye Az from Utah and would like to know what type of fruit trees I can grow. Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Effects of Hedysarum mackenzii from Pflugerville TX
May 08, 2013 - What are the effects of Hedysarum mackenzii?
view the full question and answer

Culture of Polytaenia nuttallii, Prairie Parsley
January 21, 2011 - Polytaenia nuttallii is listed at the Wildflower Center as a biennial. PLANTS database lists it as a perennial. Please clear this up if you can. If I plant this at home with tomato plants will it...
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