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

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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

QUESTION:

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.

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. 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.
 

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