Leaves of three, let it be... leaves of five???

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by NoClue, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. NoClue

    NoClue Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm talking about poison ivy, of course...

    I'm generally not effected by poison ivy, and don't generally give it much thought. I do a lot of outdoor work, in short sleeves and no gloves to the horror of my wife and neighbors constantly shrieking 'Don't touch that, it's poison ivy!'

    Except it's not. I pick up a vine and show them that this mystery weed has leaves of five, not three, and therefore it isn't poison ivy. They all think I'm insane and flirting with death. This includes people who've lived in this area all their lives and claim to know the local fauna.

    Anybody have an idea what this weed is? As much as the reputation for insanity works in my favor, I'd like to be able to show these people that I know what I'm talking about.

    It grows as a vine, with a reddish non-hairy stem when it's young, somewhat woody when it's older. It climbs up trees, fences, and the sides of buildings. The leaves are dark green, I've never seen flowers or berries, but the edges of the leaves have a slight serration, and as I mentioned, always grow in groups of five.
     
  2. Harry Chickpea

    Harry Chickpea Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Virginia creeper is the common one. FWIW, some people (far fewer) are somewhat sensitive to it as well, especially if they have been sensitized to poison ivy.
     

  3. Zephaniah

    Zephaniah Well-Known Member

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    I have never seen Virginia creeper go up a tree, but that doesnt mean anything

    A picture might be in order

    I was thinking trumpet vine or Maypops ( lilikoi)
     
  4. RJMAcres

    RJMAcres Well-Known Member

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    Dry it and smoke it.
     
  5. NoClue

    NoClue Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Virginia creeper is a definite candidate
     
  6. GoatsRus

    GoatsRus TMESIS

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    Virginia creeper. Even climbs the side of our metal barn. I pull it out with my bare hands and I'm extremely allergic to PI, but virginia creeper doesn't bother me.
     
  7. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

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    Funny thing, my sheep will eat Poison Ivy, but won't touch Virginia Creeper
     
  8. gina kay

    gina kay Well-Known Member

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    I've been wondering what that is. We have it growing up the tin side of the coop and my dh won't let me touch it because I'm so very allergic to poison ivy. We were thinking it was some type of poison ivy or sumac.
     
  9. Judy in IN

    Judy in IN Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Poison Sumac, or Poison Oak, as some call it.

    Poison Ivy doesn't bother me either, but the Poison Oak is another kettle of fish! It will cause a reaction even when dormant with no leaves.

    Leave it be, or spray to kill it and strip the vines down with gloves.
     
  10. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Palmately compound or pinnately compound? Palmate is the one where the leaves radiate from a central point, pinnate means the leaves come off the stalk along the sides, like a feather.

    Pinnate and it is poison oak or sumac. Palmate is virginia creeper, but the red young stems tell the tale too. Virginia creeper has red stems when young. Virginia creeper will climb up trees, and telephone poles, and buildings.
     
  11. HomesteadXing

    HomesteadXing Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Aug 4, 2010
  12. Patt

    Patt Well-Known Member

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    We have a lot of that here, I have never seen our goats eat it either.
     
  13. Judy in IN

    Judy in IN Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We had Poison Oak growing on the back side of the big barn last year. I sprayed and sprayed and sprayed. It was finally DEAD.

    DHubby decided to strip the dead vines off the wall. WARNING: Poison Oak is NEVER harmless! He had to take 3 courses of steroids to get rid of it. His arms and legs were oozing all the time.

    Don't mess around with Poison Oak!

    I've got Poison Oak from dormant vines on a fence post before. It makes Poison Ivy look like nothing.
     
  14. NickieL

    NickieL Accidental Farmer

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    Virginia creeper often goes up trees around here. Thats my guess. Another here who is not sensitive to poison oak and ivy. When I was working through college I did work cutting it from trees in the expirimental forest :) Folks freaked out when I would mess with the stuff and never be affected by it.
     
  15. starjj

    starjj Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Does anyone have pictures of posion oak and sumac? I looked at some sites but couldn't find one that gave good pictures of them.
     
  16. NickieL

    NickieL Accidental Farmer

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    poison oak is very variable in it's look....it can act as a sprawling ground cover, a vine or a shrub, depending on where it is growing.
     
  17. sleeping_gecko

    sleeping_gecko Member

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    I looked up some info, because I was thinking about this, too. We live in town, but have a ton of vines coming over from the neighbors. One (abandoned) house has wild grapes on the side, that I keep from totally taking over the fence (though I'm hoping to get some grapes from it this year) the other (abandoned) house has these 5-leaved vining plants taking the house over, it's almost covered the whole back of the house, has traveled across the fence and keeps climbing over my compost bin. I tore some off with bags on my hands (thought it was poison ivy).

    I was thinking the same thing as the OP (Leaves of three, let it be), but this was 5 (and they are palmate).

    Good to know it's not poisonous!
     
  18. NoClue

    NoClue Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The leaves are palmate and don't look anything at all like oak leaves. I'm nearly positive that what I'm dealing with is Virginia Creeper. I've handled it a great deal in the past and had no reaction to it at all.
     
  19. Bat Farm

    Bat Farm Well-Known Member

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    It sure sounds like virginia creeper. We get it all over our live oaks here usually right with the poison ivy. It is a source of water in an emergency. Cut a woody section of vine (being sure it is virgina creeper) and let it drain into a container.

    Phyllis Light, the Medicinal Plants Editor at southern herbs says:

    "Virginia creeper is a great remedy for Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumach. This is the plant that I use most often and have had the most success using. It almost always is growing next to the poison one and is much more common and much easier to find than jewelweed. Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) is a five-leaved climbing vine that is almost always found growing next to poison ivy or oak. The five-leaves radiate from a single point. The leaves can be used as is by grabbing a handful, crushing and rubbing between the hands and then rubbing upon the touched site. This often helps prevent the poison ivy from ever creating blisters or a rash. Once the rash is there, boil up a good double handful of Virginia Creeper leaves in about 1/2 gallon of water and bathe the affected area. The roots make a better wash than the leaves. DO NOT use autumn leaves (after they change colors) as they can cause contact dermatitis in susceptible individuals."
     
  20. mekasmom

    mekasmom Well-Known Member Supporter

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