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

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: 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: