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

Monday - May 21, 2012

From: Sylvania, OH
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Poisonous Plants, Vines
Title: Non-native Purple Hyacinth from Sylvania OH
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am wondering if I plant a Purple Hyacinth Bean vine seed under a tree and allow it to grow up the tree trunk, will it kill the tree?

ANSWER:

Lablab purpureus (Purple Bean Hyacinth) is a tender perennial native to Africa. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which those plants grow naturally.

So, while we have no information on this plant in our Native Plant Database, we can refer you to some websites that do. First, here is a very good rundown of the characteristics of the plant from the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Another description of characteristics of this plant from North Carolina State University includes the toxcity of the bean. This article from Dave's Garden indicates that it would be an annual in your USDA Hardiness Zone, as it is not winter hardy. Also, in terms of its invasiveness, you might want to read this comment in that same article:

"The plant is lovely and easy to grow. However, be careful where you plant it because it can become invasive. It will take over and shade out other plants. Also, it is a prolific seed producer. I planted one about 6 years ago and loved it the first year. However, I am still trying to get rid of its off-springs."

Pictures of Purple Hyacinth.

 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Research on Native vs. Non-Native Plants
October 22, 2009 - I am doing a research project on comparing and analyzing the effects of non-native plants vs. native plants on the environment and surrounding ecosystems. The end result of my project will be to desi...
view the full question and answer

Red pods on Canna Lilies from Windsor VA
July 21, 2013 - What are the dark red pods on my canna lilies?
view the full question and answer

What will grow under non-native, invasive Norway Maple in White Plains NY?
April 17, 2010 - Is there anything that will grow under a Norway Maple? The soil is dry and the area is small hill next to my driveway. It is an eye sore! Thank you!
view the full question and answer

Non-native smoketree for California City, CA
June 28, 2010 - I was wondering if you could tell me if it would be a good or bad idea to plant a Smoke Tree (most likely European) in the vicinity of a septic tank. We are looking for something which will provide a...
view the full question and answer

White powder on non-native houseplants from Fort Davis TX
February 11, 2011 - I have a white powder on my houseplants that I can't figure out what it is or what to do about it? (Dracaena & Corn plants) Could be a fungus can you help? (can send a photo if you will tell me how t...
view the full question and answer

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