Poison Ivy: The Furry Plant

Now that’s a really hairy vine. poison_ivy_vine georgeThere’s an old saying: “Hairy vine, a danger sign.”

The fuzzy pelt on this vine is the sure indicator of poison ivy. And yes you can get a rash from the vine–from almost all parts of the plant, in fact—root, fruit, stem, and leaf.

Although though the plant looks furry enough to be a mammal, of course it isn’t really hair; all that fuzzy stuff on the vine is made up of a dense mat of aerial rootlets. They absorb oxygen and help the plant clamber up the tree, making its way to new heights to absorb more sunshine. Another reason why poison ivy is a highly successful plant.

Thanks to George Steele for this amazing picture, taken at the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge!

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About unmowed

I'm a writer and a botanist who loves the weirdly weedy places of the world.
This entry was posted in adaptations, plant parts, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Poison Ivy: The Furry Plant

  1. Thanks for the useful tip, altho I’m getting itchy just looking at it!!!

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