En Español

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

Thursday - September 12, 2013

From: Creston, BC
Region: Canada
Topic: Poisonous Plants, Vines
Title: Are seeds of trumpet vine poisonous from Creston BC
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Are the seeds in the trumpet vines pods poisonous to humans or can I use them as dried beans? I have one plant that covers most of my house's south wall. It is a very established plant.

ANSWER:

For openers, this USDA Plant Profile Map does not show Campsis radicans (Trumpet creeper) growing in British Columbia at all, but only Manitoba in Canada. That doesn't mean it doesn't grow in British Columbia, it just hasn't been reported growing there. If you follow the plant link above to our webpage on the plant, you will see that no mention of poisonous seeds is given or, indeed, any poisonous part on the plant. However, this statement is included on that page: 

"Warning: The sap of this plant can cause skin irritation on contact."

So, we decided to search a little further as to the edibility of the beans (seeds) of this plant. We discovered that while the seeds grew in pods, Campsis radicans pods produced numerous, papery, and small seeds (696 seeds/pod) on average. So, it is not really a bean, per se, like members of the Fabiaceae family would produce. See the second and third pictures, below, from our Image Gallery, to see what the Trumpet Creeper seed pods and seeds actually look like. Except for the warning about the irritation of the sap, we could find no indication that the plant had any poisonous parts, but we don't think these seeds would produce a very tasty batch of beans like lima or pinto beans.

 

From the Image Gallery


Trumpet creeper
Campsis radicans

Trumpet creeper
Campsis radicans

Trumpet creeper
Campsis radicans

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Tough, Non-toxic Vine to Cover Fence in Washington
February 16, 2014 - I have about 150 feet of 6-foot high chain link fence that I would like to cover with a vine for privacy. I really want an evergreen or semi-evergreen plant that requires very little care. I also don...
view the full question and answer

Identity of plant with thorns in Maryland
August 27, 2013 - I live in Maryland and was walking in the woods one day when I accidentally stumbled in to a thorn bush. I don't remember what color the thorns where or very much about the plant in general but I do ...
view the full question and answer

Source for a soapberry in Pittsburgh PA
June 22, 2013 - Flower box Where can I buy a soapberry tree in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania?
view the full question and answer

Problems with shrubs by pool in Bethesda, MD
February 24, 2012 - We are trying to grow Otto Luyken Laurels by a pool and doing okay, some brown spots on leaves, but not many. Also have Arbivatea beside the pool about 3 feet from the edge of the pool. They have a l...
view the full question and answer

Is resurrection plant (Selaginella lepidophylla) toxic?
February 14, 2009 - Is Resurrection plant (Selaginella lepidophylla)toxic? Is it safe for children to handle?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center