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Pretty, Purple, Poisonous: Don't Pet The Poodle-Dog Bush

Photo courtesy: US Department of Forestry
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It's pretty, it has lavender flowers, it grows in areas of scorched earth, and it will totally ruin your big plans for the next few weeks if you touch it. Meet the poodle-dog bush. Available now in parts of the Angeles National Forest and other local areas recovering from wildfires.

According to the L.A. Times, "skin contact can cause rashes, blisters, swelling and general irritation. Those who have tangled with the purple-flowered plant called poodle-dog bush say it’s like handling poison oak."

Often mistaken for purple-flowered lupine, poodle-dog Turricula parryi is found "between the blackened skeletons of burnt trees and throughout much of the 250 square miles that were razed by the largest wildfire in Los Angeles County history."

Last month, sheriff's deputies went to Upper Big Tujunga Canyon Road where the body of a homicide victim was found. "The deputies took police tape and they saw these really pretty purple flowers to wrap the police tape around, and I guess they got exposed pretty good," [Sgt. Rod] Kubly said. "They were out for a couple of weeks. They didn't know what the poodle bush was."
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