Poison Ivy Service Announcement

Poison Ivy turns a beautiful orange to red color–but it’s still just as oily and itchy.

Don’t pick it!

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I is for Poison Ivy

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.

Mile-A-Minute Weed, a serious invasive

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.

Mile-A-Minute Weed Leaves

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.

Mile-A-Minute

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!

One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

Hey There!

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!

 

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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!

One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

Hey there!

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.

Virginia Creeper climbing fence

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’.

Five leaflets…it’s Virginia Creeper

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.

Virginia Creeper

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.

Poison Ivy

Check out these vines on your next hike!