Positive Poison Ivy

By Caileen  |  Wednesday, July 24, 2013  |  Not tagged  |  Leave comment

Poison plants can be a good thing…Benefits of poison ivy plants

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 provide.

So, if you're still with me, onto some benefits of poison ivy and oak! 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 plants creating a bitter yet non-toxic honey.
  • Several moth species use the 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 young undisturbed.
  • 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.

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