July 20, 2008
click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney
Pretty sometimes, but this has got to be one of the most evil plants on the face of the planet -- right up there with nettles...
When I was a little kid I got poison oak so badly that it spread to my face, swelling one eye shut for a few days. Since then I've been extremely careful to avoid it, and maybe I've built up some sort of immunity because of that exposure, but I don't think I've had it since. Poison oak always grows with three leaves per stem -- watch out!
Now, nettles are bad characters too -- our variety (growing to a height of six or eight feet) only grow in the immediate vicinity of riverbanks, but that's where I like to hang out. Nettles sting like a wasp, and the sensation doesn't go away for hours -- truly an evil plant in my book.
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