A Tale of Two Poison Ivy Plants

two poison ivy plants

It never fails to amaze me how different poison ivy can look from one plant to another, one place to another.

This came through very clear just this week when I took the left side photo of typical early poison ivy leaves sprouting in a woody area. Here in New England the poison ivy is just starting to show up, and generally it looks like this: tiny, shiny, red leaves sprouting.

But less than an hour later I noticed the growth on the right, climbing the wall at an office park: here the leaves are amost all fully developed with just a few tiny red ones at the top. The plant was happy climbing the stylish rough exterior of this buidling and look remarkably lush. My assumption is that the warmth of the sun-facing wall allowed the plant to come to life much sooner than the woodland plant. And possibly the fertilizer used for the building planting was also benefittig the poison ivy. Even in mid summer it is rare to see such a lush, happy vine!

So, lesson learned yet again: poison ivy has many different looks: shiny, not shiny, ground vine, climbing vine, shrub, tiny red leaves, big lush green leaves.