Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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?

Share

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

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!

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

QUESTION:

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?

ANSWER:

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

Jimsonweed and its toxic nature
June 21, 2011 - I purchased a Jimson weed plant at a local plant sale at the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center this spring and was quite surprised at how quickly & large it grew. After the first round of flowers fa...
view the full question and answer

Food Allergy to Beautyberry or Persimmon?
October 22, 2015 - I think I might have a food allergy to Beautyberry or American Persimmon, eaten Saturday at the North Carolina Great Dismal park. These were the only strange foods recently, though I've had persimmo...
view the full question and answer

Drought-tolerant plants that are non-toxic to dogs
May 10, 2010 - I am looking for drought-tolerant native plants non-poisonious to dogs. We are putting gardens in an area the dog has access to, and she likes to sample the darndest things. South side of the house,...
view the full question and answer

Non-poisonous Hedge for Southern California
November 27, 2010 - What is a non-poisonous (to dogs), fast-growing, evergreen plant that I can grow as a tall screening hedge for privacy? I find differing opinions on Carolina Cherry and Podocarpus gracilior. Thank you...
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

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.