The ‘Don’t Touch Me’ World of Cactus Spines

Living in Arizona has taught me a few things about the Danger of Cactus Spines! While it is unlikely they would cause any serious reaction, the punctures can be painful!

When I go on a ‘Nature’ walk, I carry a pair of pliers to pull cactus spines out of the soles of my shoes. When I am working in my yard, I wear thick leather gloves, and I never back up without knowing which plant is poised and ready to attack my leg. Even plants in the succulent family can inflict damage – Agave leaves can have razor sharp edges or wicked spears on the tips.

Like a porcupine, some cactus readily shed their spines into your skin. Usually I can remove them with a pair of tweezers. Then it is a simple matter to wash off the blood, and apply an antiseptic of some sort.

If I had been attacked by a large number of very small ‘hairy’ spines, there are apparently several ‘bulk removal’ methods. The first is to spread a layer of white glue over the area, let it dry, then peel it off. The other way is to smooth a piece of sticky tape over the area, then peel it off. Apparently duct tape works well.

I bought a cactus. A week later it died. And I got depressed, because I thought, Damn. I am less nurturing than a desert.
– Demetri Martin –

This week’s WordPress.com Photo Challenge is Danger.

What is the most dangerous thing that grows in your ‘neck of the woods’?

Post 108

4 Comments on “The ‘Don’t Touch Me’ World of Cactus Spines

  1. Wonderful subject for the challenge. I agree about the cactus spines. They sound dreadful. It’s great there’s ways to protect yourself and also ways to safely remove them. 🙂

    Like

  2. Well, England is largely innocent of such dangers. We could kill ourselves by eating certain plants and fungi, but those would be more conscious acts than accidentally getting speared by a cactus. Your photos show us how intimidating certain plants can be!

    Like

    • Isn’t it interesting how many plants are the source of toxins, but also beneficial drugs?!
      I can sure attest to how much damage cactus spines and agave leaves can do to your skin!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Danger: S**t | What's (in) the picture?

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