Poodle-dog bush

Terricula parryi
Poodle-dog bush (Eriodictyon parryi)

This native plant is known as a "fire follower"--growing densely in areas that burned in a wildfire and often along trails. As you can imagine, we see a lot of poodle-dog bush in Southern California.

Poodle-dog bush helps to heal the Earth, as its deep roots hold soil together. This reduces mud and debris from being dislodged after a fire and allows new plants to grow in the area.

This plant causes severe irritation similar to or worse than poison oak. Blisters may appear on your skin lasting 2 weeks or more. The plant is covered in sticky hairs, which can dislodge easily and can be passed onto hikers who touch it or brush up against it. The swelling, rash, and itching appear 12 hours to 2 days after contact.

Use caution and avoid this plant!

It is found in nearly all habitat types that have recently burned including conifer forests, chaparral, oak woodland, and riparian areas. In addition, it:

  • May have attractive lavender, bell-shaped flowers
  • Grows at elevations from 3,300-7,500 feet (1000-2,300 meters)
  • Main stem can be close to 10-feet-tall (3 meters)
  • Unpleasant strong odor