Poison ivy (poison oak, poison ivy) recognize, treat & fight


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The Poisonum in the plant lexicon Otto Wilhelm Thomés (from 1885).

With the Latin name rhus toxicodendron At the end of the 19th century, botanist Otto Wilhelm Thomé included Poisonum in his encyclopaedia on the flora of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. However, the poisonous plants are native to North America, where five species are distinguished - including poison ivy and poison oak.

Distribution in Germany and Central Europe

With colonization, the plants came to Europe and spread as isolated shrubs on sandy soils and sunny pastures or as climbing plants in forests. In Germany, the herbs appeared and were included because of their active ingredients urushiol, fisetin and gallic acid in natural medicine. At the beginning of the 20th century, poison ivy was increasingly forgotten in this country, because conventional medicine completely renounced it. It was only planted for purposes of illustration in botanical gardens, although a local appearance in private gardens can not be ruled out.

Danger to health

Wild poison plants usually cause negative headlines today: Either because walkers or hikers complain of allergic skin reactions. Or, because domestic and farm animals have poisoned them. Because only the contact with the inconspicuous, three-part leaves, can already have noticeable consequences: very small amounts of urushiol trigger on the skin itchy redness and sometimes blister-like, combustion-like reactions. Most people are allergic to the active ingredient. Nibble horses, rabbits, rabbits or smaller rodents on the plant, take the Urushiol in the body and suffer a heavy poisoning. First, the mouth and throat are inflamed, then it comes to stomach and intestinal complaints. In the worst case, the animals do not survive.

Medical and professional help needed

Since the consumption of Poisonum can also have fatal consequences in humans, advises the Information center against poisonings the University of Bonn, to visit a doctor immediately when the symptoms mentioned. The first countermeasure for eye or skin contact is thorough rinsing and washing with water. In involuntary consumption, it helps to absorb large quantities of fluid to dilute the active ingredients.

In order to avoid the contact with the plant and recognize it clearly, I summarize the most important external characteristics for you:

  • up to 1 meter high shrubs or climbing plants that can overgrow small trees
  • Branches are ascending and bear long-stemmed, alternate, three-piece leaves
  • Flowering from May to June, flowers are fĂŒnfzĂ€hlig and dioecious with pedicelled, hairy panicles
  • green-white petals with red spot in the center
  • Pea-sized drupes with yellow coloring

You should not take control of poisonous umches in gardens or on land. Since the herbicides glyphosate, triclopyr and 2,4-D must be used, contact a specialist who is able to protect himself from the plant as before the chemical control agents. Prerequisite for this is the so-called proof of Expertise in the use of plant protection products, The contact to such a specialist would have to be arranged by the respective city or municipality administration. If there is a local group of the Nature Conservation Union, you can also ask them for information.

Video Board: How to never have a serious poison ivy rash again.

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