Poison Ivy is without a doubt the most famous ivy in the family; especially after Drew Barrymore gave it human traits. I am not sure if we have poison ivy in Guatemala since I am not familiar with the plant. But, we have our own poisonous plant: Chichicaste. The scientific name is Chichicaste grandis and it belongs to the Loasaceae family, but here we just call it chichicaste. The chichicaste plant is used often in hedgerows and if you have followed this blog for a while, you will know that this is not the first time the chichicaste has entered the viewfinder. I know of two kinds of chichicaste, the regular kind and chichicaste de caballo (horse’s chichicaste), which has a leaf about three times the size of normal chichicaste.
The chichicaste leaves have tiny hairs that when touch they create an intolerable painfully ardent itching, a sort of burning rash. For this reason chichicaste is often used in the hedgerow (seto vivo in Spanish); like a live and aggressive fence. I even wrote a tiny short story in Spanish inspired by the sting of the plant; I titled it and you can read it by following the link.
Enjoy your weekend and please, by all means, stay away from the!
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