If you have ever had the terrible infection caused by poison ivy, you know how important it is to recognize this plant when you see it. Since the symptoms can range from mild to severe, it is not a condition you want to experience if you can avoid it. Redness, itching, blisters, and swelling are some of the more common signs and symptoms that can affect your skin. Also, if you get close enough to inhale the smoke from burning poison ivy, you may even develop respiratory symptoms and have difficulty breathing.
One of the best ways to avoid these issues, and other problems related to poison ivy, is to learn how to identify these poisonous plants so that you can avoid them at all costs. Better yet, once you identify it, you can take the necessary steps to eradicate your poison ivy permanently.
1. Poison Ivy’s Characteristics
One basic rule of thumb to remember is that poison ivy will always grow in clusters of 3 leaves. This characteristic is the first defining feature that you should look for. This plant is also known for growing in different habitats, so it is possible to see them as either part of a growing bush or a single plant. Unfortunately, because they are very distinctive, you should also be aware that they can grow in a variety of ways. For instance, you may find these poisonous plants growing in rocky places, in fields or flower gardens, or they may be intertwined in a fence or a tree.
2. Check for its Fruit
The green leaves do not always grow by themselves. In some cases, these plants will bear fruit. The fruit that grows on a poison ivy plant is also distinctive in appearance. Especially, since the berries often appear translucent. Another key feature of this plant is that it tends to have stems that look like they are covered in hair which makes it relatively easy to spot. Based on the geographical area that you find it, the berries may also appear to be white or cream in color. These fruits will remain on the vines throughout the entire season. It does not matter if it is spring or winter, these berries usually remain on the plants without falling off.
3. Color and Texture
Before you decide to pick a beautiful leaf off a nearby tree, you should make sure that you are able to determine the features of poison oak plant. One notable distinction is that the leaves are normally bright to dark in color and waxy green when you are viewing them from above. On the flipside, when you are viewing these leaves from underneath, they normally appear to be fuzzier in texture and lighter in color. The color of these leaves will also change based on the season. For instance, poison ivy leaves may appear to be bright green in the spring, but they turn more red or orange in color in the fall.
4. Geographical Locations
As previously referenced, there are distinct features that you should look for when identifying poison ivy. However, based on where you live, the colors and features can differ. For instance, based on the state that you reside in, you will find that there are different types of poison ivy. This information and other related facts about poison ivy and poison oak can be found online. On poison-ivy.org, specific types of poison ivy are identified along with a map of the U.S. and the corresponding states where it can be found. Sample maps have been created for the eastern poison ivy in spring, eastern poison ivy in summer as well as other commonly known poison ivy plants.
Due to the complications that people experience when they come in contact with poison ivy, it is important that you learn how to recognize its tell-tale characteristics. Since these poisonous plants can differ in colors, textures, and geographical location, you should do your homework first. Because these plants can grow in many different types of habitats, you should be aware of their primary homes. Particularly, since they can grow anywhere including intertwined in a fence or a tree.
It is also important for you to know that these plants grow in different seasons and the primary colors will change as the seasons do. In the summer, the colors may range from light green to a darker green, while in the winter the colors can change from orange to red. Whatever the case or situation, it is essential that you know what poison ivy looks like when you see it so that you can avoid having any issues from it.