- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 20, 2019

PORTERVILLE, Calif. (AP) - Visitors to Sequoia National Forest in the southern Sierra Nevada area are being cautioned about the growth of a native plant that can cause severe irritation similar to poison oak and poison ivy.

The U.S. Forest Service says poodle-dog bush appears in areas that have recently been burned by wildfire, which has been occurring more frequently in the forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument.

Swelling, rashes and itching appear 12 hours to two days after contact and blisters can last longer than two weeks.

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The plant is covered in sticky hairs which can be easily passed on to passing hikers. Poodle-dog bush can grow almost 10 feet high (3 meters) and has purple, bell-shaped flowers. It emits an unpleasant, slightly pungent odor.

It was recently found in the forest’s Converse Basin area.

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