Tips from Olle Garden Bed: How to Identify Poison Ivy – Ollegardens website

Tips from Olle Garden Bed: How to Identify Poison Ivy

The hairy vine is not my friend. Let nature take its course with three leaves. The following content also has some reference value for raised garden beds.

These rhymes are a warning to poison ivy, a plant that can cause itching and blistering rash lasting for several weeks. This perennial woody plant is common in most parts of the United States and Canada and is one of the top plants to avoid in the wilderness. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to identify.

There are two kinds of poisonous vines commonly seen in the United States: Toxicodendron radians in the east and T. rydbergii in the west. Although the two species have many similarities, the eastern variety usually grows in the form of vines, while the western variety is a low growing shrub. In the United States, the ranges of these two species overlap, so it is possible to find that these two species live in the same field or forest. According to the US Forest Service, the two species can also cross, which only complicates matters.

Therefore, the structure of poison ivy can be like a vine, climbing trees or spreading on the ground. Or it could be more like a small bush. Or some combination of both.

raised garden bed

Main characteristics of poisonous rattan

One of the most obvious characteristics of poison vine is that it has compound leaves, each leaf is composed of three leaflets. To untrained people, it looks like a cluster of three leaves.

"Three leaves, let nature take its course."

Leaflets are usually about 2 to 4 inches long, and their shapes can vary from tear shaped to wavy or lobed. In addition, leaflet edges can vary from serrated to smooth.

"Plants will be plants," says Maine naturalist Glen Mittelhauser, who has written several field guides to plants. "They don't read their [site guide] descriptions. Some species like to change, and poison ivy is one of them.

The leaves of poison ivy are usually glossy, but not always so. In summer, the plant produces clusters of small white flowers and green to white berries. In autumn, its leaves turn red, according to Gary Fish, a Maine horticulturist.

"There are shiny leaves of other plants, and three leaves of other plants," Mittelhauser said. "So in the basic description, you tend to call more things poison ivy than reality.

According to the Clemson Cooperative Promotion Family and Garden Information Center in South Carolina, as a vine, poison ivy will produce alternate stems, attach to trees or other structures, and sprout hairy aerial roots along the stems.

"Mao Teng, not my friend."

Both species live in habitats ranging from woodlands to backyards. They are cold resistant and can tolerate humidity or dryness, but they thrive especially in open and sunny areas; Therefore, poison ivy is often found on the edge of fields or forest clearing.

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Rash

Contact with poison ivy usually leads to rash, which is caused by urushiol, a sticky oily resin that covers the whole plant.

Contact with plants may not be direct, leading to rash. For example, if you pet a dog that has passed through poison ivy, the irritant resin may transfer from the dog's fur to your skin. Alternatively, you can pick up the resin by touching objects such as clothing or gardening tools that touch plants.

According to the Mayo Clinic, rashes usually take 12 to 48 hours to form, characterized by redness, swelling and small blisters. It is usually very itchy and lasts for two to three weeks. In addition, if you inhale the smoke from burning poison ivy, you may have difficulty breathing.

According to the cooperative promotion of Clemson, some people are more sensitive to urushiol than others, and a person's sensitivity will change over time. These plants are most dangerous in the spring and summer when the oil content is highest.

If you know that you have been exposed to poison ivy, please wash your skin immediately to reduce the chance of rash, recommended by Mayo Clinic. There are several over-the-counter detergent formulations that break down the resin and remove it from the skin. You can also simply use soap and water, although soap containing oil will spread resin on more skin, making the situation worse.

If you do suffer from toxic ivy rash, please do not scratch it, even if it is tempting. Scratching can cause skin to break and become infected with bacteria. It can also cause scarring.

According to Mayo Clinic, mild cases of rash can be treated at home with soothing lotion and cold water bath. However, if the rash is serious or extensive, you should see a doctor, who can prescribe drugs, such as oral steroids to reduce symptoms, topical products to reduce redness and itching, and antibiotics if the rash is infected with bacteria. Specifically, Miaoyou Medical International recommends that you see a doctor if the rash affects your eyes, mouth or genitals; If the rash blebs exude pus; If you have a fever of more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit; Or if your rash doesn't improve in a few weeks.

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