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Station fire leaves allergy-aggravating plant in its path

July 25, 2011 |  8:41 am


A plant that's taken hold above La Cañada Flintridge, blanketing the hills with lavender flowers, can cause an itchy, burning rash much like poison oak, experts warn.

The poodle-dog bush tends to grow in abundance after a major fire or other event disturbs the soil, said Bart O’Brien, director of special projects at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens.

It began showing up in La Cañada Flintridge after the 2009 Station fire, the Glendale News-Press reported.

“They’re spectacular plants and they’re beautiful, but it is something that many many people are allergic to,” O Brien said.

Dr. John Rodarte of Descanso Pediatric in La Cañada said he started noticing the poodle-dog bush in the Angeles National Forest while volunteering with Montrose Search and Rescue, and has since seen patients who have come into contact with it.


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-- Daniel Siegal, Times Community News

Photo: The poodle-dog bush has filled in hillsides burned by the 2009 Station fire in the National Angeles Forest. The plant causes a rash-like reaction by those who are allergic to it. Credit: Cheryl A. Guerrero / Glendale News-Press