In the interest of proving to you that I’m not looking at the plant world through rose-colored glasses, I decided to feature a Mojave Desert native plant that I absolutely detest. It is a complete and utter jerk that should be given dirty looks and a wide swath any time you come across it. I personally wouldn’t plant it in a ditch let alone a garden because I hate it so damn much.
Honestly, I’m only talking about it here so I can ruin its online reputation forever. This blog post will never go away, Eucnide urens. (And I’m sorry, but that’s even a stupid name.)
It’s kind of pretty from far away, right? DO NOT BE FOOLED. This plant is like a pretty prostitute who’s holding a secret shank and all she wants to do is stab you, even though she’s smiling nicely at you.
Come closer, she whispers to you. I’m soft and I have pretty flowers. Pay no mind to my silly little shank. So you don’t.
You approach her, entranced by her delicate white blooms and undulating form. She doesn’t want to hurt me, you think to yourself. She’s too pretty and sweet to ever want to do harm to anyone. Her leaves are covered in a downy fuzz that beckons to be touched. So you do.
And that’s when you realize your mistake and begin to wish you were never born. Those soft, downy hairs that you just ran your hand over are actually tiny barbed needles that are now with you forever, like plant herpes. You now have plant herpes. Congratulations and may God be with you.
Eucnide urens is commonly known as velcro plant, desert stingbush and rock nettle. It grows to about 3′ H x 3-4’W and blooms in the late spring. I cannot recommend enough staying away from this awful, awful plant.