Ask a Question forum: Plant making me itch badly

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Jan 28, 2017 5:15 PM CST
Can anyone tell me exactly what kind of plant this is? I thought it was aloe but after I put some on me it started itching badly.
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Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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Jan 28, 2017 5:19 PM CST
I cannot tell from the photos what your plant is but Aloe and Yucca can cause itching in some people.
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Name: Scott
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Jan 28, 2017 6:11 PM CST
Looks like Agave and the juice from the leaves can cause itchy skin.
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Jan 28, 2017 7:17 PM CST
Yes, agave. The itchy component is oxalate crystals, if I remember right. The itch will be unpleasant but then it will pass. If you can find some true Aloe vera, that should help. Images to steer you in the right direction:

Aloe Vera (Aloe vera)

There are maybe 500 different aloe species and not all are medicinal, so choose wisely.

If you want to tell the difference between aloe and agave, look for these signs:

* agave is generally more fibrous than aloe (usually you have to cut a leaf rather than simply breaking it off)
* agave generally has more serious spines (esp. the terminal one) compared to aloes
* aloes will flower every year; agaves do so once at the end of their life
* agave leaves start out longer and emerge from a sort of group hug at the center of the rosette, while aloe leaves emerge short and elongate later
* agave leaves have spines along the margins and at the end of the leaves (only), while aloes may have spines or bumps on the upper or lower surfaces of the leaf as well
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Jan 28, 2017 7:28 PM (+)]
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Jan 31, 2017 8:36 AM CST
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