The weeds I call the "itchy-rash plants" are the plant kingdom's answer to yellow jackets, mosquitoes and the like. How so? Well, as if it were not bad enough that you have to watch out for the burning sting that yellow jackets can inflict while you are going about your business in the yard, there is a weed (stinging nettles) that can also "burn" you and cause itching. And while those who fail to practice mosquito control are doomed to suffer itchy stings from the bloodsuckers of the air, we all know the skin rashes caused by poison ivy are no picnic, either.
What you may not know is that you can also come down with an itchy rash from contact with weeds more often associated with hay fever (the ragweeds).
Yes, there is a skin rash just waiting to happen when you step out into your yard. So what is a body to do? Learn to identify the plants in question, so that you can eradicate them, or at least avoid them. The resources below will help you do just that, providing information on plants that make you itch and pictures to identify them. It is easier to win the battle against itchy rash plants than stinging insects, in one sense: whereas bees, hornets, mosquitoes, etc. fly around and zero in, at will, on the target that is your poor body, these rash-causing plants do not move, at least. So, armed with the proper information, you have them at something of a disadvantage.
Plants That Cause a Burning Rash: Stinging Nettles
Stinging nettles can't swoop in on you and deliver a burning sting, as yellow jackets can.
But if you accidentally run through a patch of these plants in short pants, your legs will feel a bit like a swarm of tiny yellow jackets just attacked your unsuspecting appendages. Learn how to identify stinging nettles by clicking on the link below:
The Big Three of the "Itchy World": Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, and Poison Sumac
Do you depend on the rhyme, "Leaves of three, let them be!
" to identify poison ivy and poison oak? You should not. It is true that poison ivy has three leaves (as does poison oak), but these itchy-rash plants are far from being the only weeds with three leaves. Moreover, the rhyme is quite useless for poison sumac identification. So instead of relying on rhymes, consult the following resources and get serious with your identification efforts:
Lesser-Known Plants That Cause Itchy Rashes: Common and Giant Ragweed
You are not still blaming your fall allergies on goldenrod plants, are you? It is widely recognized now that the ragweeds (both the giant variety and common ragweed) are the worst culprits behind hay fever in the autumn. What is not so widely known is that the ragweeds can also cause skin rashes if you touch them. Armed with that information, you are probably wondering, "All right, what does this weed look like?" That is why I have supplied you with a photo gallery showing what ragweed looks like, so that you can identify it.
Learn more about these itchy rash plants in the following articles:
It's Not Just Weeds: the New Myth About Poinsettias
As if the weeds dealt with above were not bad enough for your health, I must inform you that, regrettably, even some "good" plants can cause rashes and make you itch (or worse).
Take that Christmas classic, the poinsettia, for example. People have read countless stories on the web about how it is a myth that anyone eating a poinsettia leaf will surely die from it. Is that truly a myth? Yes. But here is the problem: as a result of becoming aware of this myth, people have let their guard down altogether about poinsettias. But this is a classic case of human nature at work: the busting of one myth gives birth to another. The new myth surrounding poinsettias is that they are totally harmless for everyone. That is simply false, as I explain in my full article: