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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.

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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.

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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!

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Tuesday - June 01, 2010

From: Redford, MO
Region: Midwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Osage orange thorn in foot in Redford MO
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I ran an osage orange thorn through my foot,it is very sore and very red around it. Is that something I might need to see a dr about, or it is just going to be sore for a couple days. It only happened this morning about 13 hours ago. But it sure does smart.

ANSWER:

We are always amazed when our correspondents contact us before they see a doctor in situations like this. If there were toxin in the thorn, you would already know about it. We could find no indications that Maclura pomifera (osage orange) has any poisonous parts, including the thorns. However, any injury like that is susceptible to infection, which could be very serious. Or a piece of the thorn could still be in your foot, which also is dangerous. We have two suggestions: (1) see a doctor and (2) wear shoes when you go outside.

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Maclura pomifera

Maclura pomifera

Maclura pomifera

Maclura pomifera

 

 

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