Weird Poison Ivy Growth

strange poison ivy growth

Every so often you may see this sort of strange growth on a poison ivy vine. We sent the photo off to poison ivy scientist John Jelesko and he reports as follows:

"I had an entomopathologist look at exactly this kind of growth.  It turns out, it is some insect that causes a transformation of what would otherwise be flowers to take on a more distorted leaf-like developmental program.  Very weird, but surprisingly frequent.  In my observations of this, it seems to persist from year to year on the same branches."

So it is an insect attacking the plant and making it do strange things. You are invited to get a second opinion from your own entomopathologist!