Help me identify what caused an allergic reaction?

Asked June 25, 2017, 4:13 PM EDT

Hello, my family was gardening last week and two of us developed a pretty bad allergic reaction to one of the plants we were touching. My husband says he was handling a large vine that excreted a milky substance and he thinks it was due to that. We also have what could either be poison oak or wild strawberry growing around the area. I have attached pics of both plants in question.

Harford County Maryland invasive plants grapevine indian strawberry mock strawberry dermatitis from plants milky sap caused dermatitis milkweed caused dermatitis

1 Response

Neither of these plants normally cause dermatitis, however individual humans can be allergic to particular plants. The plant on the left is a grape vine. The plant on the right is probably Indian or mock strawberry (not a true strawberry) if it produces yellow flowers.

The common milkweed is a common native plant with a milky sap that causes dermatitis. Dogbane is in the same family. They both have toxic properties: http://extension.umd.edu/learn/toxic-plant-profile-milkweed-and-dogbane It's most probably you contacted them because of their widespread presence.

There are both milkweed and dogbane climbing vines, though they are not botanically related. Here is some info about them: http://homeguides.sfgate.com/types-vines-milky-sap-35709.html

ECN