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Point Mountain Reservation
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Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans).  “Hairy vine's no friend of mine,” “Leaves of three, let it be,” and “Berries of white, poisonous sight” are all warnings of poison ivy.  It is a highly variable perennial woody vine or shrub, native to North America and Asia and introduced in Europe and Australia.  Poison ivy contains a pale yellow oil called urushiol, which reacts with skin proteins, forming new structures.  These structures are seen by the immune system as invaders, and in about 85 percent of the population, they cause itching, inflammation, and blistering of the skin (Deb Schwartz).

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Photographs by Valerie Lykes