Run into any of these unsavory characters out in the brush
and you're just asking for an itch or a nasty scratch.
After a wildfire, the dry ridges of Southern California may be invaded by the quaintly named poodledog bush. But all charm ends here, for the sticky and strong-scented poodledog is covered with stiff microscopic hairs that deliver a noxious punch. These glandular hairs, known as trichomes, discourage herbivores and plague passing hikers who brush up against the foliage. The chemicals — prenylated phenolics — emitted by the hairs cause dermatitis and an inflammation similar to that caused by poison oak. The scientific name Turricula means "little tower" in reference to the stalk of deep blue flowers that rises over the plant in the spring.
Key characteristics: This stout and densely leafed plant can form thickets growing nearly 10 feet tall. The long linear leaves may be rolled under along their margins.
|Latin name:||Turricula parryi|
|Common name:||Poodle-dog bush|
|Habitat:||Chaparral, dry granitic soils of slopes and ridges to 7000',
|yellow pine forest, disturbed places and burns
||June to August