Plant ID forum: Mystery plant in Idaho

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Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
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Natalie
Apr 28, 2014 12:44 PM CST
I'd love to get an ID on this plant, which is growing on my property in Idaho. I've never seen anything similar. It has recently started growing, so I don't know how large it will get. It's about 8 inches tall at this point, but it looks like the tops of the plants have been eaten, probably by deer. The ball looking things, that may be flowers, are about the size of an apricot, or a little bigger. This plant isn't in a flower bed area.

Any suggestions would be most appreciated!

Thumb of 2014-04-28/Natalie/dd5c5c Thumb of 2014-04-28/Natalie/e74b5e
Thumb of 2014-04-28/Natalie/987272 Thumb of 2014-04-28/Natalie/c6004f
Thumb of 2014-04-28/Natalie/f60533

Natalie
Name: Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Plant Identifier
growitall
Apr 28, 2014 12:49 PM CST
Hydrophyllum capitatum:
https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=HYCA4
https://www.google.ca/search?q=hydrophyllum+capitatum&rls=co...
[Last edited by growitall - Apr 28, 2014 12:56 PM (+)]
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Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
Apr 29, 2014 8:45 AM CST
Thanks Lori,

I'm pretty sure that is the correct plant. I'll know for sure when it blooms. Most of the pictures that I found of the one you named show the blooms at the base of the plant, so I'm not positive yet. My husband was convinced that it was the plant that gave him a bad rash on his arms and legs. I wanted to make sure, and it looks like it wasn't that plant. So, the search is still on for the culprit. This one is welcome to stay on the property now!
Natalie
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Apr 29, 2014 1:07 PM CST
Natalie, so sorry about hour hubby's mystery rash! It took me forever to realize which plants were giving me 'mystery poison ivy.' And wow, there's a lot of them. Through much experimenting and hellacious scratching, apparently I'm sensitive to some of my house plants that never bothered me before, as well as some weeds and tended plants in the landscape. Is this rash something that happened recently? Knowing when it happened could help narrow it down, and what he was doing/touching. Do you have pets? Was the rash like poison ivy?
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Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
Apr 29, 2014 1:41 PM CST
It was a really bad rash above his knees and on his arms, between his wrist and elbow. It looked just like a poison ivy rash, but we have no poison ivy here. He was clearing a bunch of stuff, so no telling what it was. I've been trying to narrow down the search, and identify some mystery plants, all at the same time. It's weird that it was above his knees because nothing touched his skin there. He did kneel on the ground, but the area above his knees wasn't touched directly by any plants.

We've always had pets, and I'm positive that it wasn't caused by them. Haven't changed anything other than where we live. It has to be a plant somewhere!
Natalie
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
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purpleinopp
May 1, 2014 10:49 AM CST
The reason I asked if you have pets is that they can get oils (like the urishiol from poison ivy) on their fur and it can transfer to humans that way.

Trying to research a mystery rash is very difficult and frustrating. Don't automatically dismiss plants that one might have touched in the past without adverse consequences. Wish I knew more about what would be around in ID recently to give someone a rash.

Clearing out brush may be it though, it's possible to get a rash from dormant but very much alive PI (or poison oak if you have that there) vines, live roots. Even freshly 'dead' leaves can still have urishiol on them. As an oil, it takes an unknown quantity of time (depending on weather conditions,) to degrade. Urishiol can also get on tools and clothing, and pass to skin from there.
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☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
May 1, 2014 1:59 PM CST
We don't have poison ivy or poison oak on our property. We've looked very carefully, and there is none. The problem is that we have acreage to search, and he was clearing lots of brush and weeds and other assorted things when it happened. I'm almost thinking that it's the wild roses that he cut down. Our neighbor said she got on infection from them, so maybe they are the culprit. Still can't figure out how it got on his legs, but at least is it almost gone now. I took to sleeping in the guest room! Couldn't get an ounce of sleep with all that scratching!

We've asked the other people in our area, and they have never seen poison oak or ivy here. I really don't think that could be it.
Natalie
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
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purpleinopp
May 2, 2014 7:40 AM CST
Well that makes it more difficult to investigate, doesn't it? Other plants known for causing itchy contact dermatitis from either casual contact or from sap, Euphorbia (spurges and others,) Solanum (nightshade,) Juniper, Ipomoea (sweet potato vine, morning glory,) Sonchus (a dandelion plant with latex sap,) and others that don't come to mind at the moment.

At first I dismissed your mention of roses, but see page 2:
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/706404_2
"Even barely visible irritant fibers located on a plant can be problematic, as are those on rose hips (family Rosaceae)..."

Here are some others that may or may not be on your property:
http://plantcentral.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/dermatitis-caus...

This site has some great info about PI and a map that shows PI does grow in ID, though it's definitely possible that there's none on your property/in the immediate area. Patrolling for sprouts often can help keep it that way.
http://www.zanfel.com/help/rashfaq.html

Maybe something here would apply:
http://www.redorbit.com/news/health/1832250/contact_dermatit...

This site has such an extensive list, some people might need a hazmat suit to garden!
http://www.ct.gov/caes/cwp/view.asp?a=2815&q=376822

You and he may have already arrived at this point in your thinking, but identifying the culprit may be a moot point though, knowing that something is giving DH a rash, he should take precautions to avoid exposure while doing similar tasks in the future. Long pants, socks, sleeves, gloves, be sure to not touch face or other unexposed areas while working, then immediately to the shower, depositing clothing directly into washing machine on the way to bathroom. Lately I'm sensitive to so many plants, my standard mode of operation is to no longer touch the sap of any plants, and I'm always washing my hands after touching plants. It's frustrating and more time-consuming, but I haven't gotten another rash since implementing these measures. Much better than so much scratching, and in some places on my wrist I have scars, well worth any measures to avoid.




👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
🍀👒☀🍄🍍🌱🌿🌴🎄👣🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻🌽🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌺🌸🌼🌹🌳🌲
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
Image
Natalie
May 2, 2014 9:19 AM CST
Thanks Tiffany, Whatever plant it was, it is now gone from the area that he was clearing, so it's going to be impossible to figure it out until something grows back. The plant I posted the photos of were the only one he remembered seeing when he was clearing the brush.

The weird thing is that he was wearing leather gloves, a long sleeved shirt and long pants. It's very weird!
Natalie

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