Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Monday - May 21, 2012

From: Sylvania, OH
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Poisonous Plants, Vines
Title: Non-native Purple Hyacinth from Sylvania OH
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am wondering if I plant a Purple Hyacinth Bean vine seed under a tree and allow it to grow up the tree trunk, will it kill the tree?

ANSWER:

Lablab purpureus (Purple Bean Hyacinth) is a tender perennial native to Africa. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which those plants grow naturally.

So, while we have no information on this plant in our Native Plant Database, we can refer you to some websites that do. First, here is a very good rundown of the characteristics of the plant from the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Another description of characteristics of this plant from North Carolina State University includes the toxcity of the bean. This article from Dave's Garden indicates that it would be an annual in your USDA Hardiness Zone, as it is not winter hardy. Also, in terms of its invasiveness, you might want to read this comment in that same article:

"The plant is lovely and easy to grow. However, be careful where you plant it because it can become invasive. It will take over and shade out other plants. Also, it is a prolific seed producer. I planted one about 6 years ago and loved it the first year. However, I am still trying to get rid of its off-springs."

Pictures of Purple Hyacinth.

 

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Invasive horsetail in Etna NH
July 27, 2009 - I seem to have an increasingly "healthy" supply of Equisetum in ALL of my many gardens over the years .. it is not easy to get all the rhizomes (what is?) is it possible to control it some other way...
view the full question and answer

Identification of invasive plant
March 26, 2010 - I have found an invasive plant species in Martindale, Texas that I would like to identify for family members. It is taking over their pasture and is difficult to eliminate. It has not bloomed yet but...
view the full question and answer

Wildflower Center work on non-native, invasive Bastard Cabbage from Austin
March 20, 2014 - Still have cabbage weeds that infiltrated Austin awhile back. How did Wildflower Center resolve it?
view the full question and answer

Growing native vines in pots from Houston
May 28, 2012 - I am writing in regards to your often mentioned issue of plants not doing as well in pots and in the ground. After last years drought, i moved all the plants I had that were in danger of dying of t...
view the full question and answer

Is Canna glauca invasive?
June 10, 2015 - How aggressive is Canna glauca? I'm interested in planting one near a gutter downspout, but I'm afraid it will crowd out groundcovers (heartleaf skullcap and fall obedient plant) in the two location...
view the full question and answer

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