While most people know to look for the leaves of three rule, there are other identifying marks to be aware of. When it comes to avoiding a poison ivy reaction, the key rests in being able to correctly identify the plant itself. Most people falsely assume that plants with flowers are typically not poisonous. In some cases, this is true. What about poison ivy? Does poison ivy have flowers?
Poison ivy is often thought of as a green bushy plant or vine. What people fail to realize is that poison ivy changes throughout the seasons just like any other plant. Poison ivy has flowers from spring to summer when the plant is blooming and recovering from the winter. This is also the time when the plant is most potent posing a threat to any person who comes into contact with it. From around April until July, poison ivy plants will sprout smallish clusters of flowers on the vine itself, as well as among the leaf groups. These flowers are up to 3 inches long and either a yellowish-white or greenish-white color. After this stage of gestation, the plant will turn these flowers into small fruits of a whitish-gray color that resemble berries. While the berries are often eaten by birds and animals without harm, these berries should never be eaten by humans. The berries can be just as dangerous to humans as the leaves and vine because of the oils.
The flowers are not what causes the poison ivy rash. It is caused by the oils secreted by the plant. While the flowers are not the main culprit of poison ivy, they can have the oils on them and spread it to humans. Since the flowers can become dislodged and scattered by the wind, you should avoid areas with the plant during the flowering stage. It is also important to educate younger members of the family about the dangers of this plant. Children are often drawn to flowers and will inevitably reach for them. Avoid a painful reaction for your children by educating them early!