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

Tuesday - July 23, 2013

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Poisonous Plants, Vines
Title: Is Bignonia capreolata (Crossvine) known to cause skin irritation
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Is Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata L.) known to cause a rash? We are trying to identify the source of a rash-after-gardening, and have not seen any of the big three (poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac). We do have some invasive vines growing in from a back alley, mostly morning glory. Some of the plants seem to be trumpet vine while some are similar in flower but have different leaves. The descriptions of cross vine seem closest so far to the vine in the locations of the work that preceded the rash.

ANSWER:

I could find no source that said Bignonia capreolata (Crossvine) caused dermatitis of any sort.  However, I did find several other vines that could be candidates.

The Botanical Dermatology Database (BoDD) says:

"A number of texts refer to dermatitis caused by handling the flowers or leaves of Campsis radicans ... but there appear to be no properly documented case reports."

The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation also says that Campsis radicans causes dermatitis in some people.  They give one of its common names as "cow-itch vine". DermatologistsBlog.com also says that Campsis radicans can cause rash in some people.

The tubers can cause dermatitis in some people according to Xeriscape-Today.  

The BoDD gives information for several Cissus sp. that say they can cause dermatitis, but Cissus triofoliata is not mentioned.

According to the Poison Ivy, Oak, & Sumac Information Center, Cissus trifoliata can cause dermatitis in some people.

You can find more about people who are allergic to Cissus trifoliata on the blog Window on a Texas Wildscape.

University of California's Safe and Poisonous Garden Plants lists Gelsemium sempervirens with two toxicity classes:

1.  Major Toxicity: These plants may cause serious illness or death.

4.  Dermatitis: The juice, sap, or thorns of these plants may cause a skin rash or irritation.

 

From the Image Gallery


Crossvine
Bignonia capreolata

Crossvine
Bignonia capreolata

Trumpet creeper
Campsis radicans

Trumpet creeper
Campsis radicans

Trumpet creeper
Campsis radicans

Grape ivy
Cissus trifoliata

Grape ivy
Cissus trifoliata

Carolina jessamine
Gelsemium sempervirens

Carolina jessamine
Gelsemium sempervirens

More Vines Questions

Identification of possible Hairy Cluster Vine or Clematis
May 28, 2007 - I found a small twining vine with purple to lavender, tubular flowers hanging on one side of the stem. The leaves are very narrow and alternate about 3/4"-1" long. I found them on the side of the ...
view the full question and answer

Information about the wormvine orchid, Vanilla barbellata
November 27, 2007 - Hi My name is Santiago I'm from Puerto Rico and discover this Vanilla orchid in the forest, this orchid is V. barbellata var. alba? You have some information of how identify the V. barbe...
view the full question and answer

Need some information about wild native grapes in Gatlinburg, TN.
August 13, 2010 - We have some wild grapevines growing on a southern exposure eroded bank. They are providing assistance in reducing erosion with rapid growth. Do these plants develop ground contact as they grow? In...
view the full question and answer

Honeysuckle bush for San Antonio, Tx
June 14, 2009 - I'm looking for a gift for my brother, living in San Antonio. He loves the native honeysuckle that we both remember from our childhoods. I think I'd like to get him a honeysuckle bush rather than ...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Texas grapes
November 11, 2015 - What is the best way to propagate wild Texas grapes?
view the full question and answer

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