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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Poison Ivy 

I learned something new over the weekend.

KT and I were mowing the lawn. Well, I was mowing and KT was using the weed-eater. It seems that everytime we mow the lawn, he ends up itching. He'll have rashes from poison ivy.

We had a BBQ this past Memorial Weekend and a couple of our guests had rashes from poison ivy.

It puzzled me because I never suffered the itching/rashes from poison ivy in my entire life. *knock on wood* Yet, I had to admit that I didn't quite know to identify poison ivy.

Well, KT came across some information about identifying poison ivy. So, we went to our backyard and yep, we found some!

One of the simpliest traits of identifying poison ivy is that the leaves comes in three's. (7 to 13 leaves for poison sumac.) Below are pictures of poison ivy:






However, not all clusters of 3 leaves are poison ivy. Here are some samples:




Virginia creepers


wild or false strawberry

Well, better to be safe than sorry with rashes by avoiding all leaves that comes in a cluster of three's. Poison ivy are more likely to be found in shades. That doesn't mean they won't grow in direct sunlight. They're more likely be found near trees, plants and sources of water. However, that doesn't limit their appearances in other places.

For more pictures of poison ivy, click here. This site also provides some interesting facts about poison ivy. Here's a sampling:

- It's the urushiol oil in poison ivy that cause rashes.

- Only 1 nanogram (billionth of a gram) needed to cause rash.

- Average is 100 nanograms for most people.

- 1/4 ounce of urushiol is all that is needed to cause a rash in every person on earth.

- 500 people could itch from the amount covering the head of a pin.

- Urushiol oil stays active on any surface, including dead plants, for up to 5 years.

Now you know a little bit about poison ivy. Be sure to steer clear of leaves in three's. Have a safe summer!

ta ta for now...