Poison ivy is so pernicious that songs have been written lamenting the rash and pain these plants inflict! Here’s how to properly identify it…

“Leaflets of three, let it be!” That’s the phrase that guides us away from poison ivy. But lots of plants have clusters of three leaves. Poison ivy leaves usually have a slight oily look, and the three-leaved clusters are consistently placed along a branch. If you still need some help, check out photographs of poison ivy species specific to your region and season at PoisonIvy.aesir.com.

The White-Paper Test: If you are heading to an unfamiliar wooded area that’s likely to have poison ivy, take along a piece of white paper with you. If you think a plant is poison ivy but you’re not sure, try the white-paper test. Carefully take hold of the plant with the paper, and crush the paper-leaf package with a rock. If it’s poison ivy, the juice on the paper will turn dark brown in 10 minutes. By the end of the day, the paper will be black. Now you know where not to camp!

Thanks to the National Safety Council (NSC.org) for help with this tip.

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