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Control Those Weeds: Poison Ivy

By paulgrow
August 28, 2012

This is the fourth in a series that will offer descriptions and control measures for some of the most common weeds. For the most part I will be referring to weeds found in the Midwest because that’s where I live and these are the ones I’m most familiar with.

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Aug 27, 2012 7:58 PM CST
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Name: Dave Whitinger
Southlake, Texas (Zone 8a)
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Is that USDA graphic showing no poison ivy in most of the south?
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Aug 27, 2012 8:21 PM CST
Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
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I enjoy your tips so keep them coming, Paul.

I know w/out a doubt there is plenty of PI in Georgia though. I think I'd color in that state on the map. I also see a difference in Poison Oak and P-ivy, too. I've never heard either of those referred to as climbing sumac though but perhaps that's a local name for some areas. Sumac usually has many more leaves than 3 per leaflet.

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Aug 27, 2012 8:39 PM CST
Name: Mary
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Shoe and Dave are right -- Poison Ivy is DEFINITELY in Georgia, because I'm constantly fighting it in my yard
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Aug 27, 2012 9:40 PM CST
Name: Marilyn
Kentucky (Zone 6a)
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PI is in KY also. Crying Blinking I've been dealing with it since we built our house in 1996-97. Sad Thumbs down
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Aug 28, 2012 12:11 AM CST
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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I didn't even notice the map but it for sure is all over Kentucky. I think I'm the only one I know who might not have an allergic reaction to it.

I also think there is a difference in the three plants just as Shoe mentioned, but here in W KY, they all are often commonly called by the same name: Poison Ivy. When I first moved here people looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language when I called a plant sumac and they called it poison ivy.

It could be because they all contain the irritating urushiol that causes the irritation, maybe?
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Aug 28, 2012 5:13 AM CST
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b, and F (Zone 9b)
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I agree

I've noticed it growing in quite a few of the mid, and mid-south states while walking around in travel stop areas.
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Aug 28, 2012 5:53 AM CST
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I remember being warned about it as a child in Arkansas and Tennessee, so I'm pretty sure it is there.

And I later lived in California, where poison oak is a decidedly different plant we had there instead of poison ivy.

As a side note, I got poisoned by a seedling that I wasn't worried about because it looked nothing like a vine yet. First and only poisoning I've had.

When seedlings pop up in my yard after being transported by the birds, I put a stone, newspaper, cardboard, something over them to smother them before they establish.
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Aug 28, 2012 6:53 AM CST
Name: Paul
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I guess it goes to show you don't believe everything the USDA puts out.

I apologize for the error.
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Aug 28, 2012 7:08 AM CST

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Lots of poison ivy here in w. Alabama also. Ive got a good case of it right now from petting my dogs and running d og tie outs through my hands. ITCH.

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Aug 28, 2012 7:46 AM CST
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b, and F (Zone 9b)
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There's more than one map on that site...several different varieties of poison ivy. Smiling Eastern poison ivy, for example, is shown to be found in all of the eastern states.

Some varieties in certain areas even overlap! Thumbs down I detest poison ivy...
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Aug 28, 2012 9:44 AM CST
Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
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Yes Paul, there IS a lot of conflicting info out there!
It's good you put up the article so we'd get a discussion going!
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Aug 28, 2012 2:23 PM CST
Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
And in the end...a happy beginning!
I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle I sent a postcard to Randy! I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
For our friend, Shoe. Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Enjoys or suffers cold winters Birds Permaculture Container Gardener
No worries here, Paul. I'm sure we can find another map at some point. And ditto what crittergarden said, great to get a good discussion going, eh?

As for me, I think I'm one of the few folks that don't mind poison oak/ivy, etc. And yep, probably because I'm not affected by it (yet!). I think it has its place, usually far far away from most folks! Smiling But I also am grateful it feeds so much of the wildlife with its berries in the winter. Course now, I'm also one who loves pokeweed, even to the point of blogging about it once! It, too, is a pretty plant to me, a natural ornamental, and does double-duty feeding quite a lot of the birds around here in the winter.

Looking forward to your next article!
Shoe
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Aug 28, 2012 3:34 PM CST
Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
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I agree about the wildlife.
I just weed out (smother, actually) the seedlings before they take and get hard to kill.

Pokeweed IS lovely, as a single specimen, not just anywhere!
OK in a vacant lot, but not my garden - MUCH too big!
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Aug 29, 2012 12:55 PM CST
Name: Jean
Hot Springs Vlg, AR, DeLand, F
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Definitely in Arkansas. That's about the only thing the drought hasn't killed here!
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Aug 29, 2012 2:10 PM CST
Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
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ick.
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Aug 29, 2012 2:27 PM CST
Name: LariAnn Garner
south Florida, USA
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There's plenty of Poison Ivy down here in Florida as well. So for sure that map is awry.
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