Poison Ivy (P. Manorome)

Poison Ivy can appear in many different forms.  It can be of the climbing variety, which looks like a vine climbing a tree, it can be of the non-climbing variety, where it is spread over the ground, and it can sometimes even be in the form of a thick vine that looks more like a tree than a vine.  Sometimes, there are Poison Ivy flowers and Poison Ivy berries.  The leaves can be of varied shapes and sizes, but always with three leaves.  A good general rule is “leaves of three, leave it be”

Poison Ivy rashes are caused by the oil getting on your skin.  The oil is on all parts of the plant, including the roots, leaves, berries, flowers, and stem.  The Poison Ivy rash is red and very, very itchy.  Other than touching the plant directly, you can also get the oil on your skin by touching an animal, like a dog or cat that has been in contact with the plant.  No animals, other than humans, react to the poison ivy oil, so it is impossible to tell if they have been in contact with the plant.

To protect yourself from getting poison ivy, stay on all marked paths and wash yourself with cold water afterwards.  Warm water will open your pores and the poison ivy oil will be absorbed faster.  If your pet has been in contact with poison ivy, wash them with cold water while wearing rubber gloves.

– A. Young (2014)

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