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?


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
2 ratings

Sunday - May 16, 2010

From: Marion, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Poisonous thorn in Marion NC
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Yesterday my son got a thorn stuck in his foot. I removed it but his foot is still swollen and puffy today. What kind of plants have poisonous thorns?


Ordinarily, we ask our clients to expect a 3 to 4 week wait for our answers, but we are  going to make an exception here. We have no idea what plant your son stepped on, and even with a description or pictures, it may not be in our native plant database, and we might still not know. If the foot is still swollen and puffy, we would recommend he see a doctor as quickly as possible. The thorn may have injected a toxin of some sort into the flesh, or some of the thorn may still be in there. or an infection might set in. This is a medical matter; it doesn't really matter what the name is of the plant that caused the problem, what matters is that it be treated right away.

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Skin irritation caused by blanket flower (Gaillardia sp.)
January 29, 2005 - 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 La...
view the full question and answer

Plant-related skin rashes from Round Rock TX
September 23, 2013 - I have been plagued with persistent skin rashes this summer, and it is happening with plants that have never bothered me before, for example, red yucca. The dermatologist says it is a plant reaction,...
view the full question and answer

Can oleander poison the ground below it?
June 29, 2013 - Can oleander poison the ground below it? Would it kill/damage grass or other plants below it? Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Need to find a place to buy Western Soapberry in Paris, TX.
May 05, 2012 - Where is the closest place to purchase a Western Soapberry tree?
view the full question and answer

What to do if Mexican buckeye seeds are eaten
September 09, 2011 - What to do if seeds of the Mexican buckeye are eaten? I didn't know they were toxic. Please let me know as soon as you can. Thank you
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center