Winter Mystery Shrub

winter poison ivy shrub

There are two reasons that it is hard to know that THIS IS POISON IVY!

1. This is a not-so-common form of poison ivy: it is growing almost as a shrub, sending vines branches in all directions, looking for either sun or something to climb upon.

2. There are no leaves, since they all fell off.

In truth, it is really difficult to spot this as poison ivy. Since it is not climbing a wall or tree, there are none of the typical root hairs that the climbing vine shows. And there is nothing obvious about the bark or stalks that scream poison ivy. In many cases, we only know this is poison ivy beccase we have seen the plant back when it had leaves.

This is why having the SeeLeaf detection kit can really help. You cut into the stem, wait a moment for the sap to emerge, and then touch with the detection wipe. Purple means poison ivy (or oak or sumac, depending).