Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Short Botany Lesson- Poison Ivy versus Virginia Creeper

Does this picture strike fear in you?

Well, it shouldn't. It's Virginia Creeper. Some people think, at first glance, that it is the infamous Poison Oak. Officially it's called Parthenocissus quinquefolia. It is not advisable that you rub it's leaves all over you as it can cause a rash in some people and it's berries are poisonous. The good thing is, it's not poison oak as poison oak doesn't grow in my area of the country.

This is Poison Ivy.

Unfortunately, this does grow in my part of the country and this little patch is in my backyard. Poison Ivy can cause rash and blisters and is difficult to get rid of (both the vines and the rash that is). In my opinion this little nuisance is almost as bad as fire ants- almost. Fortunately, you can squish fire ants. If you squished a poison ivy plant, the oil from the plant would stay on you and develop into that nasty rash I was talking about. You can even touch your shoes or clothing that came in contact with the plant and a rash will develop. The bottom line is, stay away from it- consider yourself warned.

Make sure and click on the links provided and you can read more about these two plants. Sorry that I couldn't think of something funny to say about poison ivy. It's just not funny especially when it is all over the back side of your son's knees and spreading frontward....Arghhhhh

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