Poison plants can be a good thing…
Ok, ok! Before you write me off because you've read the title of
this post and are now convinced that I am certifiably crazy, just
give me a chance!
You may have noticed that the majority of my posts are and have
been, about the negative attributes of poison oak and ivy.
Well, it turns out that I haven't given these plants a fair shot.
Now don't get me wrong, we here in the land of Tec Labs are not by
any means, poison ivy lovers. We dislike poison oak and ivy just as
much as you do, that's why we make products to help! In fact, most
of our staff is efficiently equipped with a bottle of Tecnu and a
tube of Tecnu Extreme at home. However, we do feel it is fair
to give these plants some credit for the little bit of good they do
So, if you're still with me, onto some benefits and interesting
facts about poison oak and ivy! Let's approach this in a "did you
know fashion," shall we? OK, here goes, did you know:
- Poison ivy (and oak) provide sustenance for a variety of animal
species. Mainly the antler toting kind (deer), and the chirping,
nest-building kind: Coyotes. Just kidding, birds of course!
- Other grazers of poison ivy and oak shrubbery include: insects,
squirrels, goats, & turkeys!
- Bees gather nectar from poison ivy and poison oak creating a
bitter yet non-toxic honey.
- Several moth species use poison oak and ivy plants to protect
and shelter their larvae while they pupate. We agree, yuck!
However, wise on the moth's part - only a small group of critters
are willing to approach poison oak and ivy, thus leaving their
- Native Americans used poison oak for weaving baskets, and sap
from the plant for dye. Certain tribes even used ashes from the
plant for tattoos!
- Poison oak is celebrated in the small town of Columbia,
California every September. That's right, celebrated! Awards are
given for: best poison oak arrangement, best poison oak dish, best
rash, and more! (Please note that we do NOT encourage the
consumption of poison oak, or ivy as it can be fatal).
As with most things in life, and in the case of the plants at
hand, good and bad can be found! We hope you enjoyed these fun
facts about poison oak and ivy! Even though these noxious plants
mainly cause misery and discomfort to humans, we do have to
appreciate the good they provide the critters with whom we share
this lovely planet we call home. By no means are we saying you need
to head to California for the annual festival in September; simply,
remember these plants aren't ALL bad.