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
1 rating

Monday - June 14, 2010

From: Benton, KY
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Thorn in the hand in Benton KY
Answered by: Barbara Medford


My husband got stuck by a thorn on a thorn bush and the thorn was a goldish copper color. There is a knot on his hand and pain in his fingers to his elbow. Do you know what kind of bush this could be? I have searched the net but can not find anything like it.


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. However, any injury like that is susceptible to infection, which could be very serious. Or a piece of the thorn could still be in his hand , which also is dangerous. We have two suggestions: (1) see a doctor and (2) wear gloves and watch what you're doing when you stick your hand in a  bush.

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Itchy hands from handling Lantana plants
September 13, 2009 - I am in Ocala,FL. I pick up with my hands branches from a cut down Lantana Plant. My hands are very itchy, what can I do. THANK YOU FOR YOU.
view the full question and answer

Is Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides) poisonous to pets? Probaly not.
September 08, 2008 - Is Spanish Moss poisonous to pets? I have a dog which will eat anything.
view the full question and answer

Sturdiness of non- native poisonous oleanders
August 16, 2011 - We've seen a dozen different types of non-native plants in our yard perish in last winter's brutal freezes and this summer's record drought..which is good..except for the Oleanders, which nature ca...
view the full question and answer

Detoxifying soil from York England
August 15, 2012 - How do you neutralize toxic soil, it may have been contaminated by Foxglove Digitalis Purpurea? Thankyou
view the full question and answer

Is Mexican petunia (Ruellia brittonianna) toxic to dogs
June 23, 2009 - I would like to know if the plant known as Mexican petunia,or Katie dwarf (Ruellia brittonianna) is toxic for dogs. Thank you. 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