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

Pet-friendly plants for ground cover in Bastrop TX
June 21, 2010 - Any pet-friendly plants that can be used for ground-cover in Central Texas?
view the full question and answer

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

Wisteria and Non-Poisonous Native Vines
February 15, 2012 - I'm from central Texas and I'm wanting to plant a native vine that will work well around the public, mainly kids. It's a mostly sunny trellis that makes an arch. I'd like to plant the native Wiste...
view the full question and answer

Spots on leaves of sevenleaf creeper in Austin
November 14, 2009 - Have 3 seven leaf creepers that are planted in mostly shade. In Sept & Oct 2009 all 3 plants had dried up leaves which fell off; however, all three plants grew new leaves when we got rain and are com...
view the full question and answer

Recommended plants for horse farm in Lansford PA
April 22, 2010 - Recently started a small horse farm in northeast Pennsylvania just east of the Pocono Mountain plateau. Located in a foggy valley adjacent to a lake. Snowy, cold winters; wet springs; dry summers; ni...
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center