terrible rash - unknown plant

by Joanna D'Ordine
(Dunedin, Fl)

I visited a friends garden and brushed up against a plant and my arm immediately broke out into a rash. It had multiple bumps and it has been 6 days and my arm is swollen and seems to be spreading. It itches and burns.
Can you identify this plant? I believe it's the culprit. I live in west central Florida. I've uploaded a picture of the plant and the rash. Please help me identify this plant and maybe a remedy for my discomfort.

Drought Smart Plants reply:

Hi Joanne, if you haven't sought medical attention for this, please do so now. This type of rash is normally receding in a couple of days of exposure to whatever type of plant (or other allergen) so if it's still giving you problems it won't go away by itself and can also set you up for more allergic reactions to even common plants.

I'm sorry I'm not familiar with the plant at all, so I can't tell you what it is.

For short term relief, cool water baths and an anti-histamine like Benedryl might help, but I'm not a doctor, so please seek the proper information.

Good luck,

Comments for terrible rash - unknown plant

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Jul 11, 2013
ID plant
by: Anonymous

this is heracleum mantegazzianum, giant hogweed.
keep your distance!

Jul 12, 2011
How to handle
by: Anonymous

This plant can cause rash and discomfort. I strongly suggest you apply liberal amounts of alcohol (Capt Morgan works best for me).

Suggested Dosage:
This should be applied internally by flushing the system. Avoid over-use but rinse and repeat until all feelings have been numbed.

Disclaimer: Please do not operate automobiles or farm equipment while medicating. You may however pilot commercial airlines, ships and bars.

Dosages vary depending on many factors: weight, age, amount of pulled pork in your system, ability to handle oneself while medicating.

Drought Smart Plants does not endorse the use of medicinal alcohol (use it wisely!)

Jul 10, 2011
Thanks for the update
by: Jacki

Joanne, so glad you've found out the culprit - I have heard of this plant, and seen it in action in certain damp and shady spots like the edges of meadows - I think the picture of yours was what confused the issue, it looks like it's very lacy, not how I remember the way it looks.

Also, see the post by Kitsune on my facebook page;
Drought Smart Plants on Facebook

Jul 10, 2011
Giant or common Hogweed
by: Joanna D'Ordine

I believe I identified this plant as a Giant Hogweed, possibly Common Hogweed. The leaves match as well as the rash. Not good. Sunlight apparently irritates it more. It's a photodermatitis plant. It's also very invasive and must be handled with extreme care. Some states list it as a class-A toxic plant. I just briefly rubbed past it. Exposure to sunlight the day after and persperation helped spread the rash.
Just an FYI to your readers. Thanks for your help. I will seek medical care asap.

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