Sunday, October 4, 2009

Scott's Favorite Shrub: Poison Sumac

This rather beautiful shrub can be the source of great misery for those who are sensitive to it. The rash and itching are severe...extremely, profoundly severe. If Scott N. finds out you are sensitive to Poison Sumac, he will take you to places where it grows by the hundreds of thousands. And after you limbo and crawl under it for 3 or 4 miles, he'll casually let you know "they have rattlesnakes here."

Poison Sumac - Rhus vernix

4 comments:

Dr A said...

Sounds like somebody has been botanizing at Cedar Bog. Went there as a graduate student and avoided every single shrub I didnt' know the ID of and I was the only one who didn't get a severe case of dermatitis from the poison sumac.

Jain said...

Bwa ha ha!

Justin Thomas said...

This may sound goofy, in more ways than one, but on more than one occasion I have intentionally rubbed Poison Sumac on the tender side of my forearm in order to receive the rash. I readily acquire Poison Ivy and usually have it somewhere on my body over the growing season, but it seems that no matter how hard I try I cannot get Poison Sumac. I didn't use to get PI either, perhaps it is a matter of prolonged exposure. I'll just have to keep trying.

Scott said...

... and Keith will put rubber snakes in your mailbox to try to scare you!

I have had poison sumac only one or two times, and only very small spots that have not spread. I used to not get poison ivy either, and in the past couple of years have begun to develop a rash in response to it (though I didn't get any when sampling my property, which is full of it) this September. Keep trying, Justin. I'm sure you'll be pleased when you finally succeed.