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Poison Ivy

May 23rd, 2011

We have poison ivy growing all around the property here at Chiot’s Run. We’re surrounded by woods, so it has the perfect habitat to thrive. I don’t mind so much because it is a beautiful plant and thankfully I’m not allergic and neither is Mr Chiots.

Poison ivy (toxicodendron radicans) grows throughout most of the United States and Canada. It is mostly found in wooded areas and along the edge of the woods, although it can grow in open areas as well.
Learning to identify poison ivy is quite easy. It is a good idea to learn to identify this plant even if you never hike or think you’ll be exposed to it. Look for three shiny smooth almond shaped leaves fanning out to form it’s distinctive trifolate shape. The leaflets alternate on the vine. The poison ivy that grows in my gardens emerges in the spring with beautiful tiny shiny red leaves.
I don’t aggressively try to eradicate poison ivy from my gardens. I believe all plants have a purpose and a place. I do pull out any plants that grow close the house, or along the walkways where people might come into contact with it just in case. I would hate for a visitor to go home with a terrible allergic reaction.

Poison ivy is beautiful in the fall, it turns a lovely shade of red and yellow. That’s one of the reasons I leave it in the surrounding woods.

Are you allergic to poison ivy? Do you have any growing in your gardens?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.