Even changing color and drying up in the fall, poison ivy still contains enough of its toxic oils that it can irritate human skin!
We are repeating a favored perennial for ‘I” on the Blogging From A to Z Challenge: Ivy, of the poisonous kind!
Please consider this a nature service announcement! This native vine can be one of the nastiest you encounter in our woods, fields, and even your lovely foundation plantings. Notice we said ‘can be’. Some people do not react to this plant’s oils that cause itching. But with exposure, their tolerance can decrease, so it pays not to expose yourself unnecessarily.
In the spring, it looks like this:
In the fall it looks like this:
In the winter it looks like this:
Don’t get poison ivy this year. Know what it looks like so you can avoid it.
Again, Sorry I can’t post a mystery, but here’s a link to a poison ivy -Virginia Creeper quiz we ran a while back. The answers are below! Enjoy!
Photo #1: Virginia Creeper – Five leaflets to a leaf, right?
Photo #2: Poison Ivy – Three leaflets to a leaf.
Photo #3: Poison Ivy
Photo #4: The brighter leaves are Poison Ivy, the darker are Virginia Creeper. Please note, the leaves just happen to look this way in this photo! It’s not always the case in real life.
Photo #5: Virginia Creeper
Photo #6: Poison Ivy in the middle, Virginia Creeper lower
Have fun out there and don’t get poison ivy!
Sorry, folks, I can’t post a mystery the next few weeks. However, since Nutmeg posted a poison ivy reminder, I’ll leave you with this vine.
Hint: It’s not poison ivy! This plant confuses more human readers more than any other we post.
If you’re not sure what it is, click on this prior post to read all about ‘five leaf vine’.
I’m back and refreshed from my little weekend off. Hope you humans feel the same, because I have a good mystery for you.
Give me your guesses!
Well…no guesses? Did no one want to put their paws in their mouth and say it is poison ivy? Good thing, because it’s not! These leaves have five leaflets, and belong to the Box Elder, Acer negundo, a native tree.
That said, the sprouting seeds of this tree are mistaken for poison ivy because they often do have just three leaflets and have the same irregular toothing. However, when it’s grown, the small tree is commonly mistaken for an ash tree and has samaras like a maple, so has quite a few common names to cover those: has-leaved maple, boxelder maple and maple ash.
I’m glad to see we show poison ivy often enough not to fool our readers!
We haven’t posted a Virginia Creeper-Poison Ivy comparison lately.
This first is Virginia Creeper, with its five leaflets to every leaf–which is not always the case! Virginia Creeper can have fewer and more than five leaflets.
And this second photo is Poison Ivy…a very worn poison ivy, but you should be able to see the three leaflets on each leaf.
Check out these vines on your next hike!
Just a quick little public service announcement for you human readers! This is Poison Ivy. Don’t touch it!
It’s a shiny three-leaflet leaf,
reddish when they are first emerging,
growing on hairy vines.
Straight up from the ground, across the ground, up anything vertical.
It’s the oil on all of the plant parts–even the roots–that causes blistering on skin.
Hope this helps someone stay itch-free this summer!