Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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
3 ratings

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

 

 

More Trees Questions

Difference in acorn yields from Georgetown TX
December 27, 2012 - Why do some live oaks produce acorns in abundance and others do not?
view the full question and answer

Cypress trees near pool in Winter Park FL
August 17, 2012 - I live in Winter Park (Orlando) Florida. I have been gifted two potted cypress trees that I need to get into the ground. The only place I can plant them is in my backyard in between a stand of non-inv...
view the full question and answer

Failure to bloom of Magnolia in Webster FL
May 24, 2009 - Do all Magnolias Bloom? I live in Central Florida - transplanted a Magnolia 7 1/2 years ago. It is a beautiful tree - very healthy - at least 10-12 ft. It has never had a bloom!! I have another li...
view the full question and answer

Bacterial wetwood disease in ash tree
November 11, 2004 - I have an Ash tree in my front yard. It's about 25 - 30 years old. About 2 months ago, it began to ooze sap from a point where a limb had been pruned, I'd say, about 15 - 20 years ago. So this cut ...
view the full question and answer

Alternatives to tuliptree and red maple in Central Texas
August 03, 2007 - I live in southwest Austin, TX, nearby a creek. The soil is very heavy with clay. I've been perusing web sites for trees, and we like the "Summer Red Maple" and "Tulip Poplar" trees very much, m...
view the full question and answer

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