Poison Ivy: Spring Flowers

Posted by on Jan 19, 2014 in edible, flowers, plant parts, spring, Unmowed Blog, wildlife | 2 comments

“Poison ivy” and “flowers” are words that don’t seem to fit in the same sentence.

Yes. Poison ivy has flowers.

frank knight poison ivy flowers

Dainty and delicate, lovely flowers that, yes, will give you a lovely rash if you’re allergic to urushiol, the irritating chemical found in almost all parts of the poison ivy plant.

Poison ivy flowers are rich in nectar and very attractive to bees. Fortunately for honey-lovers, there’s no urushiol in poison ivy nectar or pollen, so eating poison ivy honey is not a problem. In fact, if you like honey, you’ve probably eaten poison ivy nectar many times. Mmm.

Anyway, enjoy a touch of spring (not literally) with this lovely poison ivy photo by Frank Knight.

2 Comments

  1. Hello Anita.
    It is interesting I’ve run across this blog. Many years ago, I really enjoyed the honey that my uncle collected from his hives. Honey, comb, I can still taste it. Then one day I ate some honey and my throat swelled a little and started itching. I had become allergic to honey. Luckily it has never progressed beyond the above, but I’m very wary and try not to eat honey or anything that has honey, even cooked cause I get the reaction.

    All of that for this. My uncles house was in a wooded area with LOTS of poison ivy. Never bothered me, until one fateful day and boom – full allergy. Itching, Blisters, the whole thing.

    My honey allergy and my poison ivy allergy started at about the same time.

    So, immunologically, the two things possibly got crossed up, with the end result, I’m allergic to both. Whether or not the honey contained some protein from the poison ivy, I’ll never know. Its just an interesting, anecdotal, observation.

    • Welcome! That’s a very interesting anecdote–scientists have been scratching their heads over poison ivy’s effect on the immune system for a long time.

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