Scorpionweed Flowers

Here’s my favorite little purple weed. It grows all along the roadsides in Arizona, but unless you stop to look at some close up, you never see the wonderful spirals of the stems.

Remember when you’re close, appreciating the details of the cute little purple flowers and the intricately spiraling stems: Never Touch Any Part of the Scorpion Weed Plant! All parts of the flower can cause a rash worse than poison ivy and poison oak. Since doctors are not as familiar with the rash caused by the bite of the dreaded Scorpionweed and nobody ever mentions the hazard, you may not realize what you have.

Like poison ivy, the substances that cause the rash can be carried around on clothes and pets that you later come in contact with. I’m reminded of my mom and dad and poison ivy. My dad was a lineman for Toledo Edison and got into patches of poison ivy on a regular basis, but was immune to the stuff and never got a rash. My mom is highly allergic to poison ivy, even had to be hospitalized a few times (one occasion was our moonlight trek to the Mule Lot Hole, but that’s another story!). After several mysterious itchy breakouts, she realized that dad was bringing it home on his uniform. After that she always did laundry with giant yellow rubber gloves and used a long wooden spoon to transfer clothes from the basket to the washer.

The difference here is that the poison ivy plant is kind of ugly and ominous looking. Scorpionweed in bloom is just so darned cute!

  • Caption: Scorpionweed (Phacelia crenulata) flowers
  • Focal length: 6/0mm
  • ISO: 200
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  • Shutter speed: 1/80s
  • Title: Scorpionweed (Phacelia crenulata) flowers

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