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
1 rating

Friday - June 15, 2012

From: King, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: General Botany, Poisonous Plants
Title: What is white sticky substance in the Mandevilla vine?
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

When I was watering my Mandevilla one of the vines broke and there was a white, sticky substance that came out of the vine. I was just curious as to what that is.

ANSWER:

The white sticky substance is the sap of the Mandevilla.   Mandevilla species, native to South America, are members of the Family Apocynaceae.  The majority of the members of the family have this thick milky sap sometimes called latex.  Mandevilla spp. are not known to be poisonous but are related to species that are according to the Poisonous Plants of North Carolina database.   The Tortoise Table says that the sap of Mandevilla causes skin irritation in some people and, thus, should be avoided.   This website also suggests that since another member of the family, Oleander (Nerium oleander), is extremely toxic, it would be better to err on the side of caution and not feed the plant to your tortoise (if you have one) or eat it yourself!

 

More General Botany Questions

What happens when plant shoot apex is removed from Nashville TN
April 23, 2011 - What happens to the plant when a shoot apex is removed?
view the full question and answer

Oils/paraffins in sea oats
September 04, 2010 - Do Sea Oats produce oils/paraffins?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on plant names
March 16, 2005 - I want to learn what the scientific names of plants indicate about the plant physiology, its namer, its evolutionary relation to other plants, etc. Could you give a print or web source for looking up ...
view the full question and answer

Monocarpic plants for Indiana
October 06, 2005 - We were in Hawaii this summer and became acquainted with the Silversword. This plant (according to what we were told) blooms only once in it's lifetime (of 50-70 years). Are you aware of any other pl...
view the full question and answer

Plants adding calcium to soil
June 08, 2006 - Hi, I am looking for a resource to help determine the functions of native plants. For instance, nitrogen fixing can be found in Indigo, Lead plant, lupines. Are there other plants that add back cal...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center