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Poison ivy – also known as toxicodendron radicans – is a type of plant that is considered to be apart of the Anacardiaceae family. Many of us learned about this plant when we were young children and were ordered to stay as far away from it as we could. Those of us who did not listen soon learned about the rash that it would cause and which would leave us in pain for a week.

This plant is not an ivy – but is rather a woody vine that has the ability to produce the substance urushiol. This is a skin irritant that causes the rash to appear on anyone who tries to touch it. This rash can make the person very itchy and has to be treated with special ointments.

You can easily recognize the poison ivy plant by its familiar ‘leaves of three’. Each of the blades are almond shape and is the one thing that truly distinguishes it from other plants. The plant will also have berries the at are a gray-white color and which are eaten by birds during the winter months.

The younger plants will have light green leaves and as they mature they will turn into a dark green and bright red during the fall months. The blades are between 3 to 12 centimeters long and will have a few teeth on the edges of it. Along the vine you will find that the leaves are clustered together.

These plants cannot be seen growing in desert or arid places. Instead they are often growing in the more wooded areas. This is what makes them difficult to see because they are able to blend in well with the plants that surround them.

People fid it quite difficult to get rid of the poison ivy plant because it has the ability to grow both sexually and vegetatively. The vines will push out adventitious roots or the plant will simply spread from the root crowns or rhizomes. The seeds can be scattered by the animals in the area after they have eaten parts of it and then had it passed out of their system.

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