Poodle Dog Bush

by Lorraine on September 10, 2009

Funny name, huh?   And the sweet looking plant doesn’t even look remotely like any kind of dog, let alone a Poodle.   I’m wondering if it was named after it’s attitude.   Some of those smaller dogs can be quite “aggressive” and not too friendly.  I guess they have to make up for their lack of size….

I don’t mean to offend anyone that has a small Poodle, they are cute.   But this plant isn’t.   In all of the years that I’ve been hiking, I had never heard of it and I certainly had never seen one before.   But last year I had my first opportunity to hear about it and observe it out in the field.

Poodle Dog Bush

Poodle Dog Bush

It’s pretty isn’t it?  And it just wants you to to lean over and inhale from it’s colorful flowers and touch them and maybe even pick a few.

Don’t even think about it and you don’t want to be sticking your face in it, either.   Within a few hours if not a day, your eyes will be swollen shut and depending on what part of the rest of your anatomy has touched it, it will be suffering as well.

"Come and breath in my lovely fragrance!"

This plant appears in areas where there has been a brush fire and are being more frequently seen  now than they were in the past.   These photos were taken in the Johnson Ridge area of the Los Padres National Forest and they appeared for the first time last year following  the Day Fire.  They have grown larger since then ( As much as 3-4 feet tall) and I have encountered people who mistakenly touched them and paid the price.

Now some people aren’t sensitive to Poison Oak and maybe this plant won’t bother them either.  But I certainly wouldn’t be taking any chances with it when I come across it and I make sure to avoid touching it. 

There was a recent article in an Orange county newspaper that I will post here tomorrow if anyone would like to read it.   But if you do any hiking or biking in areas that have burned in the last year or two, watch out for these villains so that you can avoid getting yourself into a painful predicament.

And sorry, but I can’t find the botanical name for this plant but I’m sure that someone will let me know what it is.

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Beware the Poodle-Dog! | The Daily Toki
07.29.11 at 12:36 pm

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1 Anna 09.11.09 at 8:41 pm

Hi Lorraine, it’s Turricula parryi. More info is here:
http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_cpn.pl?47455&cn=POODLE-DOG BUSH

2 anonymous 11.30.11 at 2:55 pm

eriodictyon parryi.

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