"Buck Island Reef National Monument, Virgin Islands" by National Park Service , public domain

Virgin Islands

Plants to Avoid

brochure Virgin Islands - Plants to Avoid

Plants to Avoid while Hiking at Virgin Islands National Park (NP). Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Virgin Islands National Park Manchineel or Death Apple (extremely toxic) Found near and on coastal beaches, has shiny heartshaped leaves with yellow veins. Ingestion of the small green applelike fruit can cause Death! Symptoms: Severe burning and blistering of the skin, temporary blindness. Remedy: Wash with soap and water; if severe reaction, seek medical treatment. Enjoy the Beautiful Trails of Virgin Islands National Park “Look But Don’t Touch!” Help us protect park resources include: O Remove all trash when you leave. O Campfires are prohibited. O Pets off leash or on beaches are prohibited. O Do not collect or rocks. For your Safety O Do not leave valuables unattended. O Always wear reef safe sunscreen. O Vehicles parked on roadway will be ticketed/towed. O Do not eat any fruits or berries. Respect Others O No smoking on beaches. O Loud music is prohibited. O Nudity is prohibited Plants to Avoid while Hiking Virgin Islands National Park offers a variety of hiking adventures for the entire family and for all skill and ability levels. This brochure, which describes plants to be avoided while hiking as well as precautions and remedies should you come in contact with any of them, will help you know your surroundings for a safe and enjoyable trail time. Should you wish to learn more, a simple Internet search will provide a wealth of information. Christmas Bush A small shrub that is found in open canopies and along trails. It has dark green leaves that can have a reddish hue. It resembles holly. Symptoms: Burning, itching skin, swelling, irritation and rash that can last up to several weeks. Remedy: Possible use of anti-itch creams or ointments. Stinging Nettle A twining vine that has stinging nettle hairs. Typically found in disturbed areas, along trails and in moist forests. Symptoms: Instant pain and burning, rash and sometimes blisters. Remedy: Possible use of anti-itch creams or ointments. National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Virgin Islands National Park 1300 Cruz Bay Creek St. John, USVI 00830 (340) 776-6201 ext. 238 In case of EMERGENCY DIAL 911 From Cell Phone DIAL (340) 776-9110 Plants to Avoid Casha Tree Found in drier areas along the coastline, Pinguin or False Pineapple Introduced to the adjacent to trails or on hillsides. These common trees can reach heights of 30 feet and have dozens of spines along the branches. Symptoms: Deep puncture wounds, redness, painful swelling, localized pain and infection. Remedy: If infection develops seek medical attention. Virgin Islands during the plantation era to serve as a natural fence line. It forms dense and impenetrable patches and thickets and has long, slender, bright green leaves with spiny edges and tips. Typically found adjacent to ruins or historic structures and along open trails. Symptoms: Scratches, cuts and shallow puncture wounds. Remedy: Wash wounds, apply antibiotic ointment or cream. Jump-Up-Cactus or Prickly Pear Common in dry forests, is covered by dozens of long, sharp, barbed spines and grows in dense lowgrowing clumps. Spines easily penetrate clothing and can become imbedded in skin. Symptoms: Localized pain, inflammation, irritation and rash. Remedy: Remove spines carefully to alleviate pain. Catch & Keep A common weed that forms dense thickets of vine-like vegetation. It is found throughout the island. Covered in hundreds of hooked spines, catch and keep is aptly named for its ability to hook into and hold anything. Symptoms: Barbed spines can penetrate skin causing dozens of cuts, irritation, redness, swelling and infection. Remedy: Wash wounds, apply antibiotic ointment or cream. Jimson Weed, Prickly Burr or Deadly Nightshade (extremely toxic) These herbaceous, poisonous plants are found along roadsides and disturbed areas. Distinguished by their umbrella-shaped flowers and round prickly seed capsules they can grow to a height of five feet, preferring to grow in full sunlight. Symptoms: Delirium, increased heart rate, rapid breathing, amnesia and even Death! Remedy: Seek immediate medical attention. Jumbie Bean, Crab's Eye or Rosary (extremely toxic) A slender vine commonly found in moist, welldrained wooded areas, adjacent to clearings or disturbed areas and along roadsides. The bright red seeds have been used to make jewelry and percussion instruments. Symptoms: Nausea, vomiting, convulsions, liver failure, death. Remedy: If ingested seek medical attention immediately. Pencil Euphorbia or Milk Bush (extremely toxic) A small shrub-like tree used as an ornamental plant. Distinguished by hundreds of bright green pencil-thin cylindrical branches, it secretes a milky sap when cut or damaged. Symptoms: Skin irritation, severe rash and blisters, blindness if it gets in the eyes. Remedy: Wash affected area immediately with soap and water. Seek immediate medical attention for eye or mouth exposure. To prevent contact with hazardous plants, please stay on trails and roadways.

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