Monday, June 15, 2009

Look out for leaves of three.. but don't be fooled

Anyone who knows me has seen the importance of why I should stay away from poison ivy. This woody vine occurs as a weed of landscapes, woods, and fields. Poison ivy is the major cause of allergenic dermatitis in the eastern United States, which causes inflammation, blistering, and itching of the skin. Honestly, it can be down right painful and uncomfortable!

This first photo Here is a photo of some poison ivy climbing a tree here in Jackson Park.

Leaves occur on petioles and are divided into three leaflets which are generally oval in shape. Leaflets may be either toothed, untoothed, or lobed. Older leaves are generally either toothed and lobed or untoothed and lobed.

The two lateral leaflets occur on very short petioles, while the central leaflet occurs on a much longer petiole. Although leaf shape is highly variable, the lateral leaflets are often distinctly lobed on one side of the leaflet and not on the other. Each leaflet is hairless and ranges from 3/4 to 4 inches in length and width.

This picture taken a few feet from the first picture is not poison ivy, but instead it is boxelder. A tree in the maple family that is commonly mistaken for poison ivy. If you look closely, you will see that the leaflets of a boxelder are opposite and those of poison ivy are alternate.

For more information of poison ivy, visit this site Poison Ivy.

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