Benefits of poison ivy
This time last year, I saw all the poison ivy on the sides of the road and on my own property. I remember thinking there HAD to be something good about the nasty plant. It couldn’t only be good for causing itchy and painful oozing rashes! This week as the red leaves made themselves known once again, I did some research and put some brain power to then question. I came up with the following benefits of poison ivy:
- Apparently, if you have pet goats, poison ivy plants make a great snack.
- Birds such as bluebirds, chickadees, wrens, woodpeckers and the like reportedly eat the plant’s fruits.
- Bees visit the poison ivy flowers.
- One source indicated the juice of the plant could be used as an ink for permanently marking linen or as a varnish for finishing boots or shoes.
- If you want to keep people off your property, you can plant poison ivy bushes around the perimeter. Anyone who knows what it is will keep their distance. For those who do not know what it is, they will after their first visit.
That’s the entire list of proven benefits I could find. I had been considering leaving the poison ivy alone if there was a good reason for it. But I’m highly allergic and simply could not find any really important reason to let the poison ivy on my property go wild.
So once again, I was out with a poison ivy spray just a few days ago, getting rid of it. I’ll keep feeding the birds, and I’ll plant wildflowers for the bees. I like my neighbors so don’t want a poison ivy barrier. And I don’t have a goat. So I bid my poison ivy, “adieu.”