It is responsible for severe allergic dermatitis and, in extreme cases, can cause anaphylactic shock. It is important to learn to recognize poison ivy so as to avoid it! The reason? For some years the plant has also been present in Italy.
Although its common name ispoison ivy, the plant in question has nothing to do with oursivy(Hedera helix). Its botanical name is "Toxicodendron radicans ", is a plant of the Anacardiaceae family. The speciesToxicodendron radicansit is a poisonous plant native to Asia and North America.
Is calledpoison ivybecause it induces a strong contact reaction (inflammation / dermatitis), often with rather serious effects. In the leaves ofpoison ivythere is a monosaccharide with irritating effects.
Those who come into contact with poison ivy manifest symptoms such as burning, pain and a strong rash. If you are looking for photos and images ofpoison ivy, know that its "appearance" can change according to the subspecies. Poison ivy can appear as a shrub, a climbing vine (which grows on walls and trees, like the classic ivy) or as a small woody plant.
The pangs of poison ivy are deciduous (they fall in winter). The color of the leaves ranges from light green to dark green, plus it can also vary according to the season: they become bright red during autumn. The leaves of poison ivy arebrilliant and are 3 - 12 cm long, only rarely do they reach 25 - 30 cm. Each leaf has few or no teeth, they have a predominantly smooth margin.
Poison ivy in Italy
Poison ivy is found throughout North America, the United States and the mountainous areas of Mexico. The plant may have been present in Italy for some time even if the cause of its introduction, nor the certainty of its presence, has not yet been clarified.
The people most at risk of "contact" are those who live in close contact with nature, especially those who go trekking or climbers who, in their climbs, can come into direct contact with climbing ivy! It is precisely the climbers who would have identified the presence of this plant in our country.
The presence in Italy is much discussed because it would seem that no botanist has recognized this plant in an official way, however, on the web there is no lack of rather significant identification photos.
The Ministry of the Environment NOT issued no notice and did not pronounce on the official presence ofpoison ivy in Italy. Due to the lack of "official documents", the presence of this poisonous plant in Italy is very doubtful ... however, due to the precautionary principle, it is advisable to be careful.
Poison ivy would have been spotted in the cliffs, that is, on rocky walls that are often climbing sites.
Effects and symptoms
As stated, the plant is rich in an irritating compound. The plant contains a resin rich in urushiol, this is the name of the skin irritant compound responsible for autoimmune contact dermatitis. This substance can also cause anaphylactic reactions. About 20% of the American population is immune to it while in Europe this percentage is probably lower.
If you come into contact with the poisonous plant in question, immediately wash the affected part using soap and water: the compound is not water-soluble so the use of soap is necessary. There are specific products on the market to dissolve the resinous compound and should be applied within 30 minutes to avoid an increase in symptoms.
Among other symptoms:
- Skin rush
To relieve pain, you can apply ice in 10-minute cycles. If you are allergic, go to the emergency room and maybe show them a photo of the plant you came into contact with.
You will need to monitor blisters and ulcers: the advice of a doctor is always recommended to prevent further inflammatory phenomena.
Poison Ivy Batman
Anyone who loves superheroes surely knowsPoison Ivy, the evil botany known with the name of "Poison Ivy". Her real name is Pamela Lillian Isley. It is a fictional character from the comics and in the Batman movie. Those looking for a Poison Ivy costume can undoubtedly be inspired by the 1997 Batman & Robin movie where a beautiful Uma Thurman dressed as Poison Ivy!