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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 is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - May 29, 2012

From: Montgomery, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Identity of poisonous thorn bush in Montgomery Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What is the name of a poisonous thorn bush in Montgomery Texas?

ANSWER:

If you are asking what bush in Montgomery, Texas has poisonous thorns, then I would have to say that there aren't any native shrubs that have poisonous thorns.  We recently answered a couple of questions on the subject of plants with poisonous thorns.  Here are links to questions #7663 and to #7716.  Also, you can search the Botanical Dermatology Database (BoDD) for plants with poisonous thorns.  If you experienced swelling and soreness after being pierced by a thorn from a shrub, it is likely due to the fact that a puncture wound can become infected from bacteria introduced by the thorn.  Also, there could be a bit of thorn still within the wound.  

There are shrubs/trees that are poisonous if eaten (fruit, leaves, flowers) that also have thorns.  Here are a few:

Robinia pseudoacacia (Black locust)

Aralia spinosa (Devil's walkingstick)

Poncirus trifoliata (Trifoliate orange)

Rhamnus spp. (Buckthorns)

If you are experiencing discomfort from contact with a thorn, you should see a doctor.

 

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