En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
8 ratings

Saturday - January 29, 2005

From: West Linn, OR
Region: Northwest
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Skin irritation caused by blanket flower (Gaillardia sp.)
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Could you tell me whether it is the leaves or the spent flower heads, the seed heads, that cause irritation to bare legs after walking through a field of Indian Blankets? Gallardia I believe is the Latin name. Thank you for this information. I remember the irritation, but never knew or bothered to find out which caused it.

ANSWER:

It seems that all parts of blanket flower (Gaillardia sp.) can cause skin irritation because of the presence of chemicals called sesquiterpene lactones. You can read about this on, of all places, the web page of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. The ninth paragraph of this article talks specifically about Gaillardia. Blanket flower is also listed by the Department of Plant and Soil Science of the University of Vermont Extension System as potentially harmful as a skin irritant.
 

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Do prairie verbenas (Glandularia bipinnatifida) have toxic sap?
March 16, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in Wimberley, TX and my 6 year old daughter picked wildflowers for her Mom over the weekend. I believe the species was Prairie Verbena but not 100% certain. Now, fo...
view the full question and answer

Dwarf oyster plant dying in Sunrise FL
July 06, 2012 - WHAT WOULD BE KILLING MY DWARF OYSTER PLANTS
view the full question and answer

What tree berries causes blisters in PA?
July 22, 2009 - This summer my family was playing with some berries picked from a tree in our backyard. They would place them in their mouths and shoot them through homemade pea-shooters. Shortly after everyone beg...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification in Georgia
September 14, 2011 - I saw the same question that I was going to ask about the plant that folds its leaves at dusk, with sparse branches, rapid growth, small yellow flowers and long (whisker-like, but do not appear to be ...
view the full question and answer

Plants referred to as Hummingbird plants
August 22, 2008 - We have a a plant that is sometimes called a Hummingbird Plant, sometimes a Firecracker plant. I have also seen the name lonicera sempervirens. Are they poisonous? This is a plant, not a vine. T...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center