Poison ivy is a plant that can cause a skin rash called allergic contact dermatitis when they touch your skin. The red, uncomfortable, and itchy rash often shows up in lines or streaks and is marked by fluid-filled bumps (blisters) or large raised areas (hives). It is the most common skin problem caused by contact with plants (plant dermatitis).**
Poison ivy can be found throughout the United States and Canada. The plant prefers good light and rich soil. It can grow in dense clay or sand and even in shade. It can be found along rail fences and climbing up creosoted telephone poles. Most of the poison ivy found in yards can be credited to birds and their "deposits."
Running roots up to twleve feet from the parent plant provide new plants stemming from nodes along the length of the root.
This woody plant can grow as shrubs or as a running or climbing vine. Leaves consist of three leaflets along opposite petioles (stems). They can be as long as 10 inches and have a glossy or dull finish, hairy or smooth surface, and notched or lobed margines.
Tiny greenish-yellow flowers appear in clusters and bloom late May to June.
Poison Ivy is a perennial, reproducing seeds and root nodes.
To remove poison ivy:
Wear protective clothing and dig out roots as soon as you notice the distinctive three leaflets. They turn red after the first fall frost. Place ivy in plastic bags to discard. NEVER burn ivy as some individuals may be highly allergic to poison ivy fumes.
adapted from Rondale's Garden Insect, Disease & Weed Identification