Irritant plant rashes (irritant contact dermatitis)

Irritant plants may cause a local irritation or rash where they come into contact with the skin. Unlike poison ivy, oak, or sumac, you do not have to be allergic to the plant to develop a rash. Irritant plants include:

  • Flower bulbs, such as hyacinth or daffodil bulbs or tulip bulb sheaths. These can cause a reaction called daffodil itch or tulip fingers. Tulips can cause either an irritant reaction or an allergic reaction.
  • Roses, rose hips, and dahlias.
  • Stinging nettle and spurge nettle.
  • Herbs such as comfrey, borage, barberry, tansy, yarrow, garlic, and hot peppers.
  • Rhubarb.
  • Plants from the bromeliad family, such as pineapple and Spanish moss.
  • Cacti and sharp grasses.

Last Updated: September 17, 2009

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