The poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) along the Centennial Trail at Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge is terrific.
Fabulous flowers abounded on our and attracted pollinators on our special tram tour on 3/19/2016.
This dazzling display may make it easy to overlook the identity of this pernicious plant – pernicious if you are among the many allergic to its urushiol, an oily allergen found in many plants in the Anacaridaceae family. Three leaves, let it be is the safety mantra for avoiding contact with this plant.
To ascertain the identity of a plant, always examine the entire plant — not just a leaf or 2 or 3 — and don’t get distracted by its floral display …
Remember that leaf shape can vary and that, even in Florida, poison ivy can display fall foliage.
Or, even March color, as seen at Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge …
Don’t forget that poison ivy vines can reach substantial size.
Poison ivy is spread by birds and other animals that consume its sticky fruits that are white when ripe.
Always be on the look-out for this native pollinator and wildlife plant in its many forms.