Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - September 02, 2008

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Curing plant rash
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I went walking in the woods a few weeks ago, and my leg swiped some kind of cactus or something. It scratched me up and I had to remove little white spines with tweezers. I developed an intensely itchy rash that three weeks later is just as bad as when it first happened. It is not poison ivy or anything.. I have no idea what it is and it is not getting any better. I tried using Tea Tree oil and Shea oil.. it helps a little but has not cured the problem. I don't want to take any pharmaceutical drugs. Do you know how I can resolve this naturally?

ANSWER:

We don't think we can answer your question since giving medical advice is not really in our province, but it seems that after three weeks you might want to consult with a medical doctor.  However, we may be able to help you identify the cause.  If the offending plant was a cactus, it was likely Cylindropuntia leptocaulis (Christmas cactus), also known as Pencil cactus or Tasajillo.  Other possible offenders include Urtica chamaedryoides (heartleaf nettle), Cnidoscolus texanus (Texas bullnettle), and Tragia spp, (Noseburn). A less likely candidate (because it's not native to that area but occurs not too far away) is Cevallia sinuata (stinging serpent),  Finally, any number of insects with stining hairs, including saddleback caterpillars and stinging asps may have assaulted you.

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas bullnettle
Cnidoscolus texanus

Branched noseburn
Tragia ramosa

Stinging serpent
Cevallia sinuata

Tasajillo
Cylindropuntia leptocaulis

Betonyleaf noseburn
Tragia betonicifolia

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Petals of flowers on cake from London
August 28, 2010 - Hi could you confirm that Gemini, Lisianthus and Lilies are non toxic if positioned onto a fresh cream cake (stem will be paced into a vial but the petals will come into contact with the cream). Thank...
view the full question and answer

Are the leaves of the Fruitless Palm Tree poisonous in Redding California?
October 18, 2010 - Are Fruitless Palm Tree leaves poisonous? I was poked in the hand with a leaf of one of the branches. It was a dead leaf/Branch? Please Help!
view the full question and answer

Can hackberry twigs and leaves be safely used in compost?
March 05, 2009 - If Hackberry trees and leaves have growth inhibiting compounds, should they not be used in compost piles?
view the full question and answer

How to get rid of poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans)
April 25, 2007 - Our school grounds are infested with lots of poison ivy. What is best remedy for extensive growth?
view the full question and answer

Are globe mallows (Sphaeralcea spp.) harmful to dogs
May 20, 2010 - My dogs eat the wild globe mallow plants in my yard. Could that be harmful to them?
view the full question and answer

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