offtopic: poisonous weeds
Sun, 14 Aug 2005 14:08:12 PDT
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 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:
Date: Sun, 14 Aug 2005 16:04:32 EDT
Subject: Re: [pbs] offtopic: poisonous weeds

In a message dated 8/14/05 12:01:15 PM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:
In a few weeks my car will be painted pokeweed red courtesy of the birds.  

Dennis in Cincinnati where the pokeweed grows thick!
A word of warning regarding Pokeweed, Phytolacca americana.  It's common
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.…

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
reaction the plant was capable of (from the sap of the plant).  The plant
Solanum dulcamara, with the best known common name of bitterweet
but also called woody nightshade, climbing nightshade,  and deadly
(the "deadly nightshade" in Europe is a different plant). This plant is an
invader that is very common throughout much of the USA.……

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
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
are very itchy.  But I wasn't paying attention to the large amount of
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
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
from wrist to elbow, changed and treated 5-6 times a day.  Now I have
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 "New England" USDA Zone 5
>> web site under construction - <<
alliums, bulbs, penstemons, hardy hibiscus, western 
american alpines, iris, plants of all types!
pbs mailing list

mail2web - Check your email from the web at .

More information about the pbs mailing list