Cup and Saucer Vine Catches Flies? – Cut Flower Garden

For the first time, I’ve been really successful with cup and saucer vine (cathedral bells vine). The germination was great, and the plants climbed easily up my fence with practically no assistance from me. In fact, the tendrils are actually really cool. Though tiny, they seem to act more like little suction cups that will adhere to any textured surface.


At the beginning of the season, the vine quickly reached the top of the fence. I was happy to see this, as I was hoping that it would continue to sprawl and cover it completely. On the other side of my fence is where I keep my nasty, gross garbage cans. In the summer, that area stinks to high heaven and there are always obnoxious flies (no matter how well I clean the cans, I might add). Overall, a very common problem.

One day, I was taking my usually stroll around the garden. I opened the gate to throw something into the garbage can when I noticed several flies suspended at eye level. About three of them in total were dead and tangled in the vine’s tendrils. As I inspected the plant further, I found a total of 17 flies on the plant completely dead. Not all of them were caught in the tendrils, in fact, most had just landed on their leaves. Weird.


I scoured the internet and was unable to find any information regarding whether or not cup and saucer vine kills flies, but by the looks of my garden, I would say that it definitely does. According to any evidence that I’ve found, this plant is listed in the FDA poison plants database. Either way, I may start wearing gloves when I handle this plant.

I should also mention, after finding the flies, I did search the garden for others. I thought that maybe this was a completely natural occurrence. There were no dead flies on any of the other vines which are growing right next to these cup and saucer vines, nor on any other plants in the entire garden. Very interesting.

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