Holly Plant Allergy

Q: Do hollies cause skin irritation? My wife and I trimmed our hedge and afterwards our skin stung a little. Days later we developed welts and blisters on our arms that lasted for days.

A: Hollies are not notorious for causing skin irritation but it’s my understanding that human skin reacts in different ways at different times to different plants. Your note arrived in winter but if it had come in late summer, the cause of the irritation might have come from a stinging caterpillar, like a saddleback caterpillar. Better ask a dermatologist for more information.

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