Andy Kerr

Conservationist, Writer, Analyst, Operative, Agitator, Strategist, Tactitian, Schmoozer, Raconteur

Perilous Plants

Suggested Citation: Kerr, Andy. 2000. Oregon Desert Guide: 70 Hikes. Seattle: The Mountaineers Books. p. 34.

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Not much to worry about here. A few areas offer small cacti, which have little spines you certainly don't want

to sit on. The spines stick to shoes and are difficult to remove. It is the only cactuslike thing out there, so it is pretty obvious.

Stinging nettles are found in riparian areas. The young green leaves are edible (steam them first). Native peoples used them for fiber items, and gadwalls (ducks) nest in them.

Poison ivy and poison sumac can be found along low-elevation canyon bottoms of the John Day, Malheur, Owyhee, and so forth.

If you are not expert on your parsleys and parsnips, stick none in your mouth, lest you get the deadly water hemlock, arguably the most gruesome death possible.