Aug 05, 2019 · Poison ivy turns a very red, vibrant color in the fall and is rather pretty. It also is very important to note that poison ivy can be a plant, a shrub or an ivy-like vine, so don’t be fooled by its various forms. Another way to identify a poison ivy plant is by observing what sort of light is in the area. Poison ivy likes semi-shade. This isn’t absolute, but in full sun and in the deep woods, you can relax …Estimated Reading Time: 8 mins
More Information ». Eastern poison ivy foliage exhibiting smooth leaf margins. Eastern poison ivy Toxicodendron radicans is a woody, perennial vine or small shrub that can be found in fields, pastures, woodlands, farms and home landscapes. As a vine, it attaches itself to trees or other structures with hairy, aerial roots borne along the stem. Poison ivy has compound leaves that occur in threes trifoliate or three leaflets. The edges of the leaflets can be smooth, wavy, lobed or toothed. Some leaves may resemble oak leaves. Atlantic poison oak T. Most mature poison ivy plants will flower and produce clusters of white, waxy fruit. The entire plant is poisonous because all parts contain the irritating oil urushiol. Urushiol is a colorless or slightly yellow oil found in the leaves, stems and roots. The oil can remain active for months on objects. It can be picked up on tools,clothing and the fur of pets. Therefore, anything that may carry the oil should be carefully washed. Even dead plants or roots may cause allergic reactions for a couple of years. Some people are more sensitive than others to the effects of poison ivy. Sensitive people often develop a severe skin rash within hours after contact. Highly allergic people may develop a rash if they inhale smoke when burning poison ivy in brush piles, or if they contact pets with the toxin on their fur. However, sensitivity can change from time to time so that someone who was not affected by it at one time can have a reaction at another time. A rash can also occur from contact with the vines. The plants are most dangerous in spring and summer when oil content is highest. For those sensitive to the oil, a linear rash, resembling small insect bites, will appear within 12 to 48 hours, but a reaction can take up to two weeks to occur. This rash develops into a more severe rash and blisters. Washing with running water is recommended. Washing with soaps that contain oils, such as complexion soaps, can actually spread the irritating oil and make the rash more widespread. Unless the oil is removed from the skin within 10 minutes of exposure, a reaction is inevitable in extremely sensitive individuals. Less sensitive people may have up to four hours to wash it off, although it is generally accepted that the oil binds to the skin in 30 minutes. Thereafter, it is extremely difficult to remove with water. Rubbing alcohol is a better solvent for the oil than is water. There are specially prepared cleansing agents such as Tecnu Skin Cleanser, Tecnu Extreme Medicated Poison Ivy Scrub, and Zanfel that remove much of the rash-causing oil if applied to the skin within 4 to 8 hours of contact. Another treatment to help prevent a rash following exposure is with a manganese sulfate solution. A manganese sulfate solution has been shown to be effective both to inactivate urushiol on the skin, to relieve itching, and probably acts as a chelating agent for detoxification of urushiol. Ivy Shield, Ivy Block Lotion, and Ivy X Poison Oak Lotion are protective agents for sensitive individuals to reduce the risk of a rash when spending time in areas with these plants. Fall color of Eastern poison ivy. The resulting white fruit are spread by birds. Control Poison ivy grows fairly quickly and propagates itself by underground rhizomes and seeds. Seeds are quickly spread by birds and other animals that eat the small fruits. Poison ivy can get started in the landscape from a seed dropped by a bird and may quickly become a widespread problem. It often grows in shrubs and groundcovers making it difficult to control. However, Virginia creeper plants have compound leaves with five leaflets rather than three. Virginia creeper Parthenocissus quinquefolia has leaves in groups of five. For light infestations, dig up small plants. You can also repeatedly cut back the plants to ground level. Eventually they starve to death. Start cutting early in the spring, about the time leaves unfold.