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
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - February 15, 2012

From: Austin , TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Poisonous Plants, Vines
Title: Wisteria and Non-Poisonous Native Vines
Answered by: Becky Ruppel

QUESTION:

I'm from central Texas and I'm wanting to plant a native vine that will work well around the public, mainly kids. It's a mostly sunny trellis that makes an arch. I'd like to plant the native Wisteria. What is the native species? Are the seeds to our native Wisteria poisonous?

ANSWER:

The native North American Wisteria is Wisteria frutescens and according to several poisonous plant databases all Wisteria species have poisonous seeds and vegetation.  There are some other species of native climbing vines that you could plant if you are concerned about your children or pets ingesting parts of the vine or seeds.

Passion vine or Maypop has attractive purple flowers and doesn't show up in any of the poisonous plants databases.  This vine is fast growing, drought tolerant, and thrives in sunny spots.  However, this vine is deciduous. 

If you are looking for something that has a sweet fragrance like Wisteria there is a native honeysuckle that would be good option.  Coral Honeysuckle has nice red blooms, produces flowers best in full sun, and is evergreen in southern habitats.  Japanese Honeysuckle does show up in one of the poisonous plant databases below, but the native species listed above isn't in any of the databases. 

If you want to explore other options, I encourage you to visit the Wildflower Center’s Recommended Species page for Central Texas.  On right of the page, you will see options to narrow your search.  Select “vine” from the General Appearance dropdown menu and check the “sun” box under Light Requirement and browse the results.  You could also do a "combination search" on the Native Plant Database (this will give you a lot more options).  Choose "Texas" from the State or Province drop down menu, in the Habit dropdown menu choose "vine", and check the "sun" box under Light Requirement.  If you find a vine you like and want to know if it is poisonous you can search for it in these poisonous plants databases: 

University of Pennsylvania Poisonous Plants Page

Toxic Plants of Texas

Poisonous Plants of North Carolina

 

From the Image Gallery




Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

American wisteria
Wisteria frutescens

More Vines Questions

Full Sun, Wind-Tolerant Shrubs and Vines for Steep MN Hillside
June 26, 2013 - My neighbor and I share a very steep, large (in total almost 200 ft. wide) west-facing hillside in Excelsior, MN on Lake Minnetonka. We both have a flat grass area at the bottom so the hillside does n...
view the full question and answer

Should grape vines be covered in winter from San Antonio
February 07, 2011 - Do I need to cover grape vines in winter?
view the full question and answer

Possibility of growing Smilax pumila (Wild Sarsaparilla Vine in Virginia
June 13, 2006 - Hello, I am inquiring about a plant my grandmother keeps telling me about. It's called sarasee (sp?). It's supposed to have some medicinal properties like helping with a cold and things of that nat...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen vine for trellis in Fredricksburg, Texas
March 27, 2011 - Hello, and thank you so much for this service. I am looking for a non-deciduous vine to plant on the east side of my house. I have already put in a trellis, now I need to know what to plant on it. ...
view the full question and answer

Duplicate request for information from Austin
August 30, 2012 - I am considering planting cross vine on a wrought iron fence. Will it cause any damage to the wrought iron or stucco posts?
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