The Poison Ivy - Poison Oak Blog

We know that poison ivy has many different looks: shiny, not shiny, notched, not notched.

But this photo, sent in from a fellow in Texas, made me look not twice, but about 5 times.

TAGS: mottled, Texas
April 7, 2020 - 8:46pm
poison ivy on bark

This is particularly clear example of the hairy climbing vine that poison ivy often becomes.

The reddish hairs show nicely against the dark bark. And you can see both thick vine and thinner vines, plus one hanging off the right side that has no hairs at all.

April 1, 2020 - 7:28pm
free information downloads

We see people going for walks outdoors during this COVID-19 pandemic and we know people are also worried about poison ivy, of if in California, poison oak.

So we have made up three free downloads:

• A poison ivy fact fact sheet

• A poison oak fact sheet

March 23, 2020 - 3:03pm

All of the nasty face rashes from poison ivy come from people touching their face after getting the plant oil on their hands. Rarely does anyone touch poison ivy directly with their face.

So poison ivy reminds us that we can bring invisible bad stuff from hands to face. 

March 12, 2020 - 1:58pm
Urushiol lacquer table

In Japan and China, there is a tree that has a sap containing urushiol, the same oil that causes the skin rash from poison ivy, oak and sumac.

March 9, 2020 - 12:58pm
spring poison ivy

This very mild winter in the northeast will likely result in an early spree of poison ivy sprouting. 

Poison ivy tends to be among the early ones to leaf out (and early to give up in fall).

TAGS: spring
February 28, 2020 - 1:13pm
poison ivy sap

Here we have a 4-inch poison ivy vine that has been sawed through. Note how lots of sap seeps out from the bark layer. 

It is the plant sap that contains the urushiol oil that causes all the problems.

TAGS: urushiol, sap
February 11, 2020 - 12:15pm

I have rarely seen poison ivy climbing a white birch, but as this photo shows it is happy to do so.

But it also does a nice job of revealing itself against the white bark.

Some things to notice:

January 29, 2020 - 1:22pm
winter poison ivy vine

I recently got an email from a fellow who had cut down a tree and cut it up for firewood. It had been covered in poison ivy vines and he got a terrible case of it. Cutting the vines with a chain saw will unleash and splatter the plant sap all over, which is a way to get a hall of fame rash.

TAGS: winter, bark, hairy
January 16, 2020 - 2:08pm
nightmare poison ivy bubble rash

We apologize for even showing you this rash, but this is why this website exists in the first place.

Poison ivy and poison oak and poison sumac can cause an allergic reaction that produces spectacularly awful results. Giant rashes, sometimes with bubbles filled with fluids. 

TAGS: wrist, bubble
December 23, 2019 - 11:03am