Avoid The Itch By Recognizing Poison Ivy

Poison IvyPoison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans), although a beautiful plant, is a horrible thing to come in contact with. Literally. If you are a gardener, or an avid outdoor person, you know the pain, or should we say itch,  it can cause.

Being able to recognize what Poison Ivy looks like is the most important skill to have in order to be able to avoid it.

Recognizing this plant can be tricky because it looks a little different in all four seasons. Unfortunately no matter what the season, the oils on the plants can always be an irritant.

Poison ivy leaves can present as smooth-edged, or wavy or jagged, and can also appear either waxy and shiny or dull. Additionally, they may be perceived as hairy or be completely smooth. Leaves will be roughly two to five inches long, with the center leaflet having a longer stalk than the side leaflets. In the springtime, they will blossom with very Poison Ivysmall white flowers.

Over the course of the summer months, the plant will produce greenish berries. In the fall, the plants leaflets will turn reddish and boast waxy, dense clusters white berries through winter. Poison ivy usually has three broad, spoon-shaped leaves or leaflets (“Leaves of three? Let it be!”), but it can have more. It may grow as a climbing or low, spreading vine that sprawls through grass or as a shrub. It is important to even be vigilant in the winter as the vines can even give you a rash. The vines appear “hairy” and can be on the ground, winding through shrubs, or climbing a tree.

Whatever the season, Poison Ivy is one plant you do not need in your garden.



Winter? Checkout how to recognize poison ivy in the winter.   


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