Friday, May 30, 2014

Young Poison Ivy

Most of us are familiar with poison ivy once it grows up enough to be a nuisance, but what about when it's first up?

This is a photo of a very young plant. Notice there are two oval leaves on either side of the stem. (As seen in this photo, those are the leaves at 12 and 6 o'clock - the top and bottom of the photo.) These leaves are called basal leaves, a term which refers to the lowest leaves on a stem.

When poison ivy plants are young, this is the only time they break the rules about 3 leaves and alternate leaf patterns. Pretty soon the basal leaves will drop off and there will only be the patterns of 3 leaflets.

This plant is growing in my yard. I found in it a flower bed a few weeks ago. For now, I'm letting it live so we can all see how it develops and grows.

Welcome to Ivy Central!

I'm an ex-environmental educator and photographer living in central Ohio. One of the things I used to teach about at my job was poison ivy identification. Even though I left the job a long time ago, I still can spot ivy very well and want to share my knowledge.

If you have something growing in your yard that you are not sure is poison ivy or not', post a photo and give me the URL. I'll do my best to help!