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

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 Poisonous Plants Questions

Is cat palm (Chamaedorea cataractarum) poisonous?
March 18, 2009 - I have a Cataractarum (Cat) Palm and am wondering if it is poisonous. I have a Cockatiel who likes to play in it. Thank you!
view the full question and answer

Non-poisonous, non-allergenic plants for privacy fence
March 15, 2012 - I'm looking to put in some plants to create a privacy fence against one side of my property. I'd like a mix of plants that grow well together in order to create a diverse look. I need something ever...
view the full question and answer

Growing a Texas Mountain Laurel in Pennsylvania
May 20, 2012 - Can I grow a Texas Mt. Laurel in Lancaster, PA?
view the full question and answer

Grasses for horses in Austin
October 27, 2012 - Hello Mr. Smarty Plants We just bought 4.5 acres in Travis County off HWY 290. We have 3 horses we keep on it but there is very little grass in the pastures. What is the best type of grass to seed ...
view the full question and answer

Hedgerow plants non-toxic to horses
April 07, 2012 - What would be a good, fast growing, hedgerow plant that is NON-POISONOUS TO HORSES? Thank you.
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