unknown plant that might cause skin irritation
(Nevada City CA USA)
Encountered in a friend's garden on 6/4/2011. No one knows what this plant is. Might cause skin irritation.
Drought Smart Plants reply:
When you say might cause skin irritation, how do you know this? Did this happen to someone?
I'm not 100% sure, but this appears to be a type of Nerium oleander, which does have a milky sap, although I've never heard of it being an allergen to skin. It is however, deadly poisonous! You would have seen the milky white sap ooze from the cut parts when you took this cutting.
People (especially children and even pets) on occasion have died from ingesting parts of the plant, and even using it for a hot dog roasting stick can have deadly consequences. Please find out for sure if this is what you have. Even though it's completely lovely in bloom and out, and very drought tolerant, it may not be worth it to keep it around. If this plant is the oleander and your friend has little children, she might want to take it out.
Many poisonous succulent plants are commonly grown in our gardens as they were introduced to the landscaping world in a time when this was not considered important.
I would encourage your friend to watch it closely, and take some pictures of it if it blooms to be sure. If it is Nerium oleander, the flowers will be beautiful white or pink trumpet shaped blooms.
Best of luck,