I have to say that I've handled a lot of (variegated, not green) pokeweed, and never had any problems with it. However, not everyone reacts the same way to all plants (poison ivy being an obvious example). If I may add to the off-topicness of the discussion, one of my workers "discovered" the hard way this summer that seedlings of Telekia speciosa exude an oil that produces a strong burning sensation when wiped across the upper lip on a hot day...in the interests of science I did what she had done (crush some in my fingers, then wipe the fingers over the upper lip), and it did burn! And despite repeated scrubbing with soap, it didn't stop for about ten minutes - but then it did stop, and no dermatitis followed in either of us. You never know what will get you, do you? Ellen Hornig Oswego NY USA Zone 5 Original Message: ----------------- Wrom: JSNBOHMKHJYFMYXOEAI Date: Sun, 14 Aug 2005 16:04:32 EDT To: email@example.com Subject: Re: [pbs] offtopic: poisonous weeds In a message dated 8/14/05 12:01:15 PM Eastern Daylight Time, firstname.lastname@example.org writes: In a few weeks my car will be painted pokeweed red courtesy of the birds. LOL. Dennis in Cincinnati where the pokeweed grows thick! A word of warning regarding Pokeweed, Phytolacca americana. It's common here too. Few people realize that the juice from broken stem/leaves on the Pokeweed can deliver a skin dermatitis reaction much more virulent than poison ivy. I learned the hard way. http://2bnthewild.com/plants/H171.htm http://ibiblio.org/pfaf/cgi-bin/… Another common weed can also cause terrible dermatitis, is well known as a poisonous plant (to ingest), but I had little idea just how potent a dermatitis reaction the plant was capable of (from the sap of the plant). The plant is Solanum dulcamara, with the best known common name of bitterweet nightshade, but also called woody nightshade, climbing nightshade, and deadly nighshade (the "deadly nightshade" in Europe is a different plant). This plant is an Asian invader that is very common throughout much of the USA. http://unh.edu/herbarium/Poisonous/… http://ibiblio.org/herbmed/pictures/… I was clearing an overgrown area, where there was indeed some poison ivy. Having received small outbreaks of poison ivy for half a century, I know how poison ivy affects me, and invariably, even while being careful not to touch it, I get a few patches of dermitis... typically small hard blistering bumps that are very itchy. But I wasn't paying attention to the large amount of Pokeweed and Bitterweet Nightshade in the area, even knowing their latin names and knowing they're poisonous to ingest. I didn't give the dermatitis view much consideration, aside from the poison ivy. I was wearing gloves. I ended up with a horrific skin reaction over a large area of one arm, blisters several 3-6 cm across, about 1 - 1.5 cm tall, filled with liquid. It looked like a 3rd degree burn, and required 2-1/2 weeks of constant triple-layers of gauze bandaging from wrist to elbow, changed and treated 5-6 times a day. Now I have infinite respect for these two common weeds... but wish I knew which of the two was truely responsible, or perhaps it was an aggregate effect from both. Mark McDonough Pepperell, Massachusetts, United States email@example.com "New England" USDA Zone 5 ============================================== >> web site under construction - http://www.plantbuzz.com/ << alliums, bulbs, penstemons, hardy hibiscus, western american alpines, iris, plants of all types! _______________________________________________ pbs mailing list firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.pacificbulbsociety.org/list.php -------------------------------------------------------------------- mail2web - Check your email from the web at http://mail2web.com/ .