Not all thorns are poisonous. However, some species of plants, such as the crown of thorns (Euphorbia milii), have thorns that contain a toxic sap that can cause skin irritation and eye damage.
How bad are thorns? Septic inflammation caused by plant thorn injury can result not only from bacteria. There are strong signs in the medical literature that thorns, spines, or prickles can introduce harmful fungi into animals or humans.
Sure thing! Let’s dive a bit deeper into the world of thorns and what to watch out for:
Are thorns dangerous?
Yeah, some of them can be a real hassle. See, it’s like this: some thorns have stuff in them that can make you feel pretty lousy, while others are harmless. It all depends on the kind of thorn it is, where it comes from, and how you handle it.
What to do if you get pricked by a thorn? Puncture wounds: First aid. Wash your hands. This helps prevent infection. Stop the bleeding. Apply gentle pressure with a clean bandage or cloth. Clean the wound. Rinse the wound with clear water for 5 to 10 minutes. Apply an ointment. Cover the wound.
What kinds of thorns should you be wary of?
There are a few troublemakers:
- Hawthorn thorns: These small, sharp ones might pack a punch with something called cardenolide. That stuff can mess with your stomach, make you throw up, give you tummy problems, and in really bad cases, cause death.
- Locust thorns: Long and skinny, these thorns might have a thing called cytisine. It can make you dizzy, weak, and could even paralyze you.
- Rose thorns: Those little sharp ones on roses might carry saponin, which can irritate your skin or set off allergies.
What happens if a thorn pricks you? Besides being painfully irritating, wood splinters, rose thorns, and other organic prickers left in your body can lead to bacterial or fungal infections.
What plants have these nasty thorns?
Look out for these guys:
- Hawthorn: You’ll find these shrubs or small trees all over the place, often with tiny white flowers and red berries.
- Locust: They’re trees, commonly found in North America and Europe, with big white flowers and those long, thin thorns.
- Rose: Known for their beautiful flowers, these shrubs also sport those tiny, sharp thorns.
What tree has poisonous thorns? The acacia tree is a popular ornamental plant, but it is also known for its sharp thorns. These thorns can be up to four inches long, and they are hollow. The acacia tree is also known for its toxic leaves and pods containing cyanide, which is poisonous to humans and animals.
Handling thorns that might be poison
If you get pricked by one of these bad thorns, don’t mess around: wash that spot right away with soap and water. Keep your hands away from your eyes and mouth. And if you start feeling sick after getting poked, head to a doctor pronto.
What plant has poisonous spines? Poison ivy, oak, and sumac contain a substance called urushiol in the stems, roots, vines, flowers, and leaves. Exposure to urushiol can result in the body developing a rash.
How to avoid getting hurt by thorns
To stay out of trouble, play it safe: wear gloves and long sleeves when you’re messing around with plants. And when you’re dealing with prickly plants, be extra careful.
Can thorns make you unwell? These substances delivered into the skin by a thorn could result in a number of illnesses, including: sporotrichosis, plant-thorn synovitis, mycetoma.
Most thorns won’t give you any grief, but keep an eye out for the sneaky poisonous ones. If you get jabbed by one of those, wash the area and get medical help if you start feeling off.