Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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
2 ratings

Friday - June 15, 2012

From: King, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: General Botany, Poisonous Plants
Title: What is white sticky substance in the Mandevilla vine?
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

When I was watering my Mandevilla one of the vines broke and there was a white, sticky substance that came out of the vine. I was just curious as to what that is.

ANSWER:

The white sticky substance is the sap of the Mandevilla.   Mandevilla species, native to South America, are members of the Family Apocynaceae.  The majority of the members of the family have this thick milky sap sometimes called latex.  Mandevilla spp. are not known to be poisonous but are related to species that are according to the Poisonous Plants of North Carolina database.   The Tortoise Table says that the sap of Mandevilla causes skin irritation in some people and, thus, should be avoided.   This website also suggests that since another member of the family, Oleander (Nerium oleander), is extremely toxic, it would be better to err on the side of caution and not feed the plant to your tortoise (if you have one) or eat it yourself!

 

More General Botany Questions

Least common flower color
June 14, 2008 - What is the least common flower color in the world?
view the full question and answer

Yellowing of palm tree leaves
May 14, 2008 - I want to know about palm trees. The leaves are turning yellow.
view the full question and answer

Rotten Oranges
June 03, 2009 - Do oranges rot if they are not taken off the tree when ripe?
view the full question and answer

Allelopathy in Sassafras albidum
January 11, 2012 - Sassafras albidum description says "Sassafras is allelopathic and can discourage the growth of certain other plants within its root zone." My question is: WHICH plants are susce...
view the full question and answer

Is Devilsclub related to Gunnera?
March 09, 2009 - Is Devil's Club related to Gunnera?
view the full question and answer

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