Q:

Does poison ivy have thorns?

A:

Quick Answer

Toxicodendron radicans, more commonly known as poison ivy, does not have thorns. The most obvious physical characteristic of poison ivy, to help in detection and avoidance, is that the leaves grow in clusters of three.

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Full Answer

The compound that causes irritation from poison ivy is contained in every part of the plant and is called urushoil. This long-lasting compound is stable enough to remain intact long after the plant has died. Urushoil is present in poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac plants; to avoid the rashes associated with this compound, individuals should wash affected areas immediately after contact with the plant.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do you remove poison ivy?

    A:

    To remove poison ivy, identify the plant, dress in protective clothing, cut the plant to ground level, and dig out the roots. If the poison ivy covers a large area, cut down as much of it as possible, and spray the remaining parts with an herbicide.

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  • Q:

    How do you get rid of poison ivy?

    A:

    Once absorbed by the skin, poison ivy must run its course; however, it can be prevented and safely treated at home. To prevent poison ivy, immediately rinse with cool or lukewarm water after exposure. To treat it, avoid scratching, and apply calamine lotion or hydrocortisone to the skin. Cool compresses and antihistamine medications can help relieve uncomfortable symptoms.

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  • Q:

    What kills poison ivy?

    A:

    People kill poison ivy through natural methods such pulling it out from the roots or cutting it back and smothering it with cardboard and newspapers. Glyphosate or triclopyr are effective herbicides.

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  • Q:

    What is the difference between poison oak and poison ivy?

    A:

    The primary way to distinguish between poison oak and poison ivy is by where the plant grows. Poison oak generally grows along the West Coast of the United States, while poison ivy grows in the remainder of the states, according to About.com. Both plants have three-leaflet leaves and white berries.

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