En Español

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
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

Datura in the state of Washington.
October 09, 2009 - I have a datura species growing beneath my bird feeder. How did it get here in Western Washington?? It has the typical fragrant, tubular flowers & spiky seed pods. It has grown 3' tall & 4' wide. Am...
view the full question and answer

Food for a veiled chameleon in Columbus GA
May 20, 2011 - Hi I own a Veiled Chameleon, and have been recently searching for different options as to live plant use for their cage. It has pretty much come down to using hibiscus plants and only hibicus plants. ...
view the full question and answer

Non-toxic evergreen shrub around duck pen
September 10, 2015 - I live in Zone 6a, and am looking for a non-toxic evergreen shrub to use around our fence that pens in our ducks. It doesn't have to be native to our particular state. I have 74 feet of fence on th...
view the full question and answer

Is the Magnolia 'Ann' safe for horses
May 14, 2010 - I bought a magnolia "ann". Will it hurt my horses to eat any part of it?
view the full question and answer

Are wild cherry trees poisonous for horses?
October 31, 2010 - I have just purchased a pony and have been told that wild cherry trees could cause harm or even kill her. Is this true and where can I go to get a list of all the poisonous plants, shrubs and trees fo...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center