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.
A human reader mentioned watching out for invasive species in the comments of our Ox-eye Daisy post last week. Plants like Ox-eye Daisy and Queen Anne’s Lace that became naturalized in our fields decades ago aren’t as big of a threat to nature as new plants that are taking over. One of the worst is Mile-a-Minute Weed, Persicaria perfoliata.
The leaves are quite distinctive–a triangle. Note the barbs on the stem. Nothing else looks like Mile-A-Minute Weed.
While it may not really travel a mile in a minute, this vigorous vine can grow six inches in a day and will smother wildflower and shrubs.
That should be enough to convince you to pull those little triangular leaves any time, any place you see them. If you need to know more, here’s the New York Invasive Species information on Mile-A-Minute. Good photos!
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’.
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!
This may not be a difficult mystery for some of you, but it’s an important one.
What is this plant with the attractive fall foliage?
So we had a few readers who recognize this as Poison Ivy. See the leaves of three? Gorgeous color, isn’t it? But the oil that causes rashes still remains, in the leaves, in the stems, the berries and even the roots. It’s not a good idea to touch Poison Ivy in any form, in any season!