Tuesday Tip: Poison Ivy

22 07 2009

If you are not careful, living summer outdoors can be painful.  And with my uber sensitive skin, I am always aware of potential predators.  Covered in pants and long sleeves this past weekend, I forged through the woods on a hike, prepared for the enemy, poison ivy.  Can you differentiate between the poison ivy and the harmless plant (creeping virginia) in this picture?    

Poison Ivy 1

The poison ivy is on the left and the creeping virginia is in the upper right hand corner of the picture.

The basic rule when looking for this seemingly harmless plant, concerns the leaves.  If the plant has three leaves on one stem, then chances are you are looking at poison ivy.  By all means, this is not your highway variety kudzu.  If you stepped in it, brushed against it, or slept on top of poison ivy (actually happened to a friend), my only suggestion would be to run and find calamine lotion and Benadryl. 

Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy

Creeping Virginia - safe!

Creeping Virginia - safe!

Summer is the breeding ground for poison ivy, and as the name indicates, it is a climber.  You will find this plant not only in the shrubbery on the forest floor, but also climbing trees, and other vines in search of the sun. 

Watch out this summer and prevent most problems with a bit of outdoor knowledge.

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