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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Sunday - June 26, 2011

From: New Braunfels, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Vines
Title: Is hummingbird vine poisonous to parrots?
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Is hummingbird vine poisonous to parrots? I am setting up vines and plants around the aviary and would like to use this vine if it's not poisonous.

ANSWER:

I could find two vines that are called "hummingbird vine"—one native vine, Campsis radicans (Trumpet creeper) and the non-native, Ipomoea quamoclit (cypress vine).  I found several lists for birds for toxic and non-toxic plants from:

Unfortunately, only the last two lists have scientific names for the plants, the most reliable name by which to identify them.  I also checked several other toxic plant databases that are not specific to birds:

Since trumpet vine appears on two different lists, it would be my advice not to use it.  Although cypress vine does not appear on any of the lists, I would advice you not to use it either.   Just because a plant isn't on the list, it doesn't automatically mean it isn't toxic.  I think I would pick something from the lists of "safe" plants to put in the aviary.  The Bird Channel lists honeysuckle as safe.   Lonicera sempervirens (Coral honeysuckle) is a Central Texas evergreen native that has beautiful red flowers.  Cockatiel Cottage, Hot Spot for Birds and Animal and Pet Adventures list passion flower vines as safe.  Passiflora incarnata (Purple passionflower), Passiflora affinis (Bracted passionflower) and Passiflora lutea (Yellow passion vine) are native to Central Texas.

 

From the Image Gallery


Trumpet creeper
Campsis radicans



Bracted passionflower
Passiflora affinis

Yellow passionflower
Passiflora lutea

Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

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