Poison Ivy: A Plant to Avoid

Uploaded by UIExtension on 12.07.2010

Whenever you're out and about in the landscape,
forest preserve or other wooded areas,
along the road-side, wherever you might be,
you might run across a plant that you really don't want to get into and the plant I'm referring to
is right here and this right here is Poison Ivy. Poison Ivy
is a plant that can disguise itself in a number of ways. It can be a small, little groundcover,
a shrub,
or a very vigorous vine, climbing high up into the trees and the trunk becoming very large.
The plant itself, I think is very recognizable. We've all heard about leaves of three
and this does have a three-leaflet leaf, but the center leaf
right here is on a short petiole, sticks out some,
so that makes it different than some of the other three-leaf plants that are not
hazardous to your health, you might say.
So again, this is Poison Ivy.
In the spring and the summer, it's extremely vigorous -- nice green color.
It has small white flowers in the springtime,
followed by white berries.
In the fall this can be kind of a reddish orange, quite attractive,
but again
a plant that you need to avoid, especially for those are very sensitive.
And this plant, even though it may not have leaves on it in the late fall and winter,
can still be a problem for those that are highly sensitive as the oils that are
located in the stems
of the plant can cause a reaction. If you do have it on your property, be extremely cautious
in how you remove it.
If you do use glove and that kind of stuff, those gloves probably either need to be laundered or thrown
away, because the oils get in the gloves.
The other thing that's interesting about Poison Ivy if you have pets,
pets might walk around in the wooded areas and brush up against this. They don't
seem to show signs of the irritation,
but those oils get on the fur and if you were to pet the animal as it comes in
the house,
you then wonder where am I getting poison ivy blisters, it's from the oils that are on the hair that
the animal got while walking through Poison Ivy. So again, there's all kinds of ways in which this plant
can cause a little grief in your life.