Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - March 18, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Poisonous Plants, Vines
Title: Is Bignonia capreolata (crossvine) poisonous?
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I need to know whether any part of Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata) is poisonous. Am thinking of planting it at an Elder Day Center for people with memory problems and the director insists - no toxic plants allowed. I looked up this plant in the WFC Explore Plants database and at the bottom of the entry there are several Mr. Smarty Plants Q&As about this plant including about its toxicity - however the links for NOT ONE of the answers worked. They all took me to "page not found" web error messages. I then looked through all 197 of your Q&As about poisonous plants. The links for these answers worked but I did not find any discussion of Crossvine. I have searched on the web and on various poisonous plant databases and found only that Native Americans made a tea from the leaves (per Wildflowers of Southwest (Beauregard Parish) Louisiana. I have not found anything about the flowers. Thank you!

ANSWER:

Below are the toxic plant databases that I generally check for listings of poisonous plants.  Bignonia capreolata (Crossvine) does not appear on any of them.  The fact that it doesn't appear on any of these doesn't guarantee that it is safe to eat or handle; but, since it is a relatively common ornamental plant, it would be logical to assume it would appear on one or more lists if it were dangerously toxic.  Poisonous Plants of North Carolina lists many plants that are mildly toxic and it doesn't appear on that database even as "mildly toxic."

Here are the databases I consulted:

Poisonous Plants of North Carolina

Cornell University Plants Poisonous to Livestock

Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System

University of Pennsylvania's Poisonous Plants

University of Illinois Veterinary Medicine Library Toxic Plants

Toxic Plants of Texas

California Poison Control System

Another member of the Family Bignoniaceae, Campsis radicans (Trumpet creeper), a close relative of Bignonia capreolata that even looks a bit like it, is listed in Poisonous Plants of North Carolina as being mildly toxic if eaten in large quantities and as a minor skin irritant.  The BoDD (Botanical Dermatology Database) lists C. radicans but says that there are "no properly documented case reports" of dermatitis caused by handling C. radicans

So, given the information we have, I would not classify any part of Bignonia capreolata as toxic.

 

From the Image Gallery


Crossvine
Bignonia capreolata

Crossvine
Bignonia capreolata

Crossvine
Bignonia capreolata

Trumpet creeper
Campsis radicans

Trumpet creeper
Campsis radicans

Trumpet creeper
Campsis radicans

More Vines Questions

Plants that smell like chocolate from Coral Gables FL
July 12, 2012 - I am looking for plants that smell like chocolate. I live in south Florida. We are currently growing and testing Berlandiera lyrata. Do you know of other plants whose flowers smell like chocolate?
view the full question and answer

Lonicera sempervirens not harmful to dogs from Naperville IL
December 16, 2012 - Is the trumpet honeysuckle (lonicera sempervirens) harmful to dogs if eaten? I have been told in the past that the common trumpet vine is harmful, but this appears to be different. Thank you!!
view the full question and answer

Will Virginia creeper harm brick walls in Las Vegas NM
May 19, 2013 - Will Virginia creeper harm brick walls in Las Vegas, New Mexico?
view the full question and answer

Containerized honeysuckle for Dassel MN
April 05, 2013 - We are renting our house but I would like to enjoy my own honeysuckle. Can they be planted in a big pot so that I can take it with me when we move.
view the full question and answer

Propagation of trumpet vines from Dallas
August 19, 2010 - Can you tell me about trumpet vines, can they be rooted in water? I heard they reseed at the end of their growing season.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.