Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I spy poison ivy!

Stinchfield is covered in poison ivy! It is a native climbing vine that can cause a very itch rash if you get the oil on your skin. If you do come in contact with poison ivy, clean the area with rubbing alcohol as soon as you can. Soap can sometimes spread the oil around. Drug stores sell a special type of soap that will get rid of poison ivy oil. And don't think that you are safe if you never got it before! I never had it before until last year. In the fall, it develops beautiful white berries. All parts- the leaves, vine, berries, etc.- can have oil. The photos below will help you better identify it.

See the vine on the tree? The vine branches out and can look like the branches are actually coming off the tree itself. 

This is a close-up of the leaves from the vine in the photo above. They are hanging low enough to touch.

There is lots of poison ivy covering the forest floor. It has three leaves: the 2 side leaves always have "thumbs" (those lobes on the sides). The middle leaf sometimes has "thumbs".

I think that the "thumbs" on a plant with three leaflets is the best way to identify poison ivy.

Can you spot the poison ivy in this photo? It is mixed in with another common vine that looks alot like poison ivy. Virginia Creeper has 5 leaves, instead of 3, and has little tiny suction-cup looking parts that grow out of the vine that helps it climb. Poison Ivy has things that look like roots that grow out of the vine and helps it climb, but has no suction-cups at the tips.


  1. I think this is the first time I've ever truly known what to look for when dealing with poison ivy. Thanks for the informative, image heavy post! I won't go out of my way to roll around in it...next time. :P

  2. Thanks for the picture. Just so you know, some poison ivy doesn't have thumbs. Be careful out there!

  3. Good article; great pictures! Years ago I ALSO confused Va. CREEPER with the POISON!!

  4. Unfortunately I have to do a bit of research on poison ivy lately, and this guys way of identifying it by the "thumbs" is rare...thanks buddy.