Poison Ivy Facts

Poison Ivy Facts
Poison ivy is a plant that belongs to the family Anacardiaceae. This plant grows throughout the North America, Japan, Taiwan, China and Russia. Poison ivy can survive in different types of habitat. It usually lives in temperate forests that provide enough sunlight. Poison ivy is very common in urban areas. It does not grow in deserts, arid areas and habitats above 4900 feet of altitude. Poison ivy spreads quickly and it is often considered as obnoxious weed. This plant is not on the list of endangered plants.
Interesting Poison Ivy Facts:
Poison ivy can grow in the form of bushes and vines. Bushes of poison ivy are usually 3 feet and 11 inches tall. Vines grow from 3.9 to 9.8 inches in height.
Leaves of poison ivy grow in clusters composed of three leaflets. Leaves are shaped like almond. Some leaves are serrated, while others have smooth edges. They are alternately arranged on the stem.
Leaves are bright green when they are young. Old plant has dark green leaves. Red color of the leaves can be seen during the autumn. Poison ivy discards leaves when temperature drops below zero.
Poison ivy has yellowish or greenish-white flowers arranged in clusters. Flowers blossom from May to July.
Fruit of poison ivy is a berry-like structure, known as drupe. Fruit is on the menu of various birds and mammals in the forest. Animals disperse seed of poison ivy via feces.
Urushiol oil is a resin-like substance that induces rash. It can be found in the leaves, in the stem and in the root of poison ivy.
Urushiol oil looks like a milky substance that changes color into black after exposure to the oxygen.
85% of people will develop allergic reaction after contact with poison ivy. More than 350 000 Americans experience allergic reaction each year.
People develop allergic reaction after getting in touch with leaves, stem and roots or after inhaling the smoke from the plant on fire.
Small amount of oil is enough to induce allergic reaction. A billionth part of gram of this oil will trigger allergy in most people. Urishinol oil sized as pinhead is enough to induce allergy in 500 people.
Typical symptoms of poisoning include itch, bumps on the skin and large blisters.
Poison ivy is not contagious. Person affected by allergy cannot induce poisoning of other person through perforated blisters.
Symptoms of poisoning usually vanish after one to three weeks. Severe cases of poisoning may require medical intervention and even hospitalization.
Similar allergic reaction can arise after contact with mango because mango tree produces sap that also contains urushiol oil. These two plants belong to the same family.
Poison ivy is perennial plant, which means that it can survive more than 2 years in the wild.

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