Question from Sandy:
Need to know if cape cod honeysuckle is toxic or not-want to put in exotic bird cages for them to perch and/or eat on(parrots-amazons,macaws,cockatoos)do not see it listed on toxic sheets for birds,tortoises ectc and can not find the answer on internet sources that I have tried. Please help me solve this question. Thanks so much.
Answer from Pat:
There is no such plant as “Cape Cod honeysuckle.” Perhaps you are referring to a subtropical plant called Cape honeysuckle (Tecoma capensis.) The word “Cape” in this common name refers to the Cape of Good Hope in Africa, where this plant is native, not to Cape Cod where it would freeze and die in winter. Cape honeysuckle has orange or yellow tubelike flowers and is a rangy shrub or climber. Since you had the wrong common name, there is a chance that you are referring to a different plant altogether. Therefore, for your own protection please look up the botanical name “Tecoma capensis” on the Internet. Find a photo of Tecoma capensis, and make sure this is the plant to which you are referring.
If Cape honeysuckle (Tecoma capensis) is the plant you mean, then I can answer that Cape honeysuckle (Tecoma capensis) is not poisonous and does not harm birds nesting in it or eating it. Indeed, birds eat it in Africa and some birds there live on its nectar. In Southern California, where I live, many birds frequent Cape honeysuckle and hummingbirds are attracted to the flowers for their nectar, without any harm to the hummingbirds.
It is important to determine a plant’s correct botanical name when trying to look it up in a book or on the Internet especially when you want to find such important information such as whether it is poisonous. For example, a relative of the plant mentioned above is yellow trumpet bush (Tecoma stans.) This plant is poisonous, yet bees are attracted to it. The bees are not killed by Tecoma stans, but the honey that comes from it is poisonous. Animals can also eat yellow trumpet bush (Tecoma stans) and it does not harm them.
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