Plant A Day – Poison Ivy

Eastern Poison Ivy Toxicodendron radicans

Eastern Poison Ivy
Toxicodendron radicans

“Leaves of three, let it be”.  That’s the mantra for people like me who can get a rash by being within smelling distance of poison ivy.  I’ve always wondered if that’s true.  After all, if a plant smells, it’s because molecules are being shed from the plant and bind to the olfactory receptors in your nose.  Perhaps the urushiol oil is evaporating and binds to the skin of passersby, namely me!  Anyway, that’s my theory.

The flowers are small and you rarely want to get close enough to them to get a good look

The flowers are small and you rarely want to get close enough to them to get a good look

Birds are said to be quite fond of the berries, which might explain why there's poison ivy everywhere

Birds are said to be quite fond of the berries, which might explain why there’s poison ivy everywhere

Large poison ivy vines cling to trees with numerous hairy looking tendrils

Large poison ivy vines cling to trees with numerous hairy looking tendrils

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