I brushed my wrist against it a little bit when I was cleaning this area. It caused me an itch and allergic reaction on the skin. There are two plants in the image, but I think I brushed against the big/darker green one. The location is San Francisco Bay area, California, USA).


  • My bets (but on last two questions I lose both) are on chards-like plants (Cynareae tribe). Maybe on the right a Carduus. On the left it seems an artichoke plant (Cynara). Apr 4 '18 at 5:23
  • I think both plants have similar "darkness", but they are of different "tone" of green. The right one is yellowish, and the left bluish.
    – VividD
    Apr 6 '18 at 5:59

Well both will be unpleasant to touch - the darker green one appears to be one of the thistles, and they have sharp barbs that are very uncomfortable and can cause skin irritation. I'm not sure what the paler green one is, it might be teasel, which does have prickles sticking out of the leaf surface like the one in your photo. Neither looks like anything you want to keep on growing, so if you decide to remove them, wear thick gloves.

  • 1
    I'm having difficulty to say which one is the darker green. Apr 4 '18 at 5:16
  • @GiacomoCatenazzi - the prettier plant farther away with many leaves, each leaf looking like a miniature ancient weapon (or something like that) is the darker one. The plant closer in the picture with three leaves is the lighter-green one.
    – rpkrpk
    Apr 4 '18 at 6:20
  • I did more websearch for thistles. The darker plant (farther away in the picture) seems to be something like a 'bull thistle'. Time to hit the store for thick gloves.
    – rpkrpk
    Apr 4 '18 at 6:22
  • Yeah, we get thistle in the horse pasture. The flowers are sort of pretty, but they turn into these fine cottony puffs of seeds that disperse it everywhere. I'd kill this thing quick.
    – Dalton
    Apr 4 '18 at 19:50

The darker one is a thistle. They can be invasive, although their flower is attractive. Thy have a long taproot that will need to be dug out.


like bamboo said the dark green one is a evil thistle. We have tons of those around here :( and they do hurt. But I am not aware of any reaction coming from them other then a prick from the 'thorns'.

I have a great guess that the light green one is "stinging nettle" which will give a burn/sting affect when touched. This is worse than thistle I think and both should be removed. While stinging nettle is a painful to touch plant it has some medical benefits. I will post link below. Also I am posting a link about why it stings. You may find these site interesting to read and learn from.

Use gloves to pull them out and don't let them seed!


Final note: I did look at pictures of stinging nettle and it looks fairly close. I see some saw like teeth on the edges. The leaf does look longer and pale but that may be the lack of sun and it trying to get that light. I posted a picture on here from one of the websites for others to see.

Nettle benefits

Why Nettle stings

  • 2
    It's not nettle....
    – Bamboo
    Apr 4 '18 at 0:45
  • @Bamboo Darn it, I was so sure. Not a bad guess for a 17 yr old though? yes? But it did kinda look like it and I thought it would be since I have touched the plant myself, on accident.
    – Ljk2000
    Apr 4 '18 at 2:02
  • It's the same colour leaf, but look carefully - the nettle leaf is shaped differently, its broader at the base and tapers much more towards the top when compared with the other picture. And although both are toothed at the edges, its much more pronounced on the nettle. Also look at the base of the leaf, where it joins the stem - can you see the difference between the two plants? On such tiny details does making an ID depend....
    – Bamboo
    Apr 4 '18 at 9:22
  • @Bamboo I guess your right. What I was thinking is the plant stretched out so much because the spot it is in looks like it lacks sun enough to cause the plant to stretch out so much and 'distort' its looks. I am going to do some google stuff and try to find a better answer, maybe I will find the plant...
    – Ljk2000
    Apr 4 '18 at 10:55

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