Gerry's Blog



Poison Ivy- is  a weed that Lawn Care operators dis-like

First of all, people in Ontario are buying Roundup for all kinds of uses. The only legal use for Roundup by homeowners is to control weeds that pose a threat to health and safety - like poison ivy and its relatives. But many people use it for weeding their driveways and patios.

Secondly, poison ivy is not always easily identified. "Leaves of 3" they say.

So here are some leaves of 3 that are not poison ivy

Poison Ivy Look alikes by Turf King Lawn care

The plant above is a Goutweed. Many people have the variegated variety growing as a perennial in their flower begs as a colourful ground cover. Normally this plant is grown by cuttings and shoots. These vegetatively reproduced plants are clones of the original. However, if the variegated plant is allowed to flower and go to seed, the seeds may produce plants without the variegation. And the green leaved plants have leaves of three.

Poison Ivy Look alikes by Turf King Lawn care

 Poison Ivy Look alikes by Turf King Lawn care

 Another plant with three leaves is the raspberry. It is often found in wooded areas as it will tolerate some shade. The stems of raspberries have thorns and this is a sure giveaway that it is not poison ivy.

Poison Ivy Look alikes by Turf King Lawn care

Manitoba Maple is also known as Box Elder. It is a large, fast growing tree. Young seedlings however, sometimes have the three leaflets. As the plant gets larger and older the leaves may end up having 7 leaflets- see photo below. The leaves are also lobed similar to the Poison Ivy. Manitoba maple does not have a shine or sheen to the leaves.

Poison Ivy Look alikes by Turf King Lawn care

Here are a couple of 3 leaved plants found along the trail at the Royal Botanical Gardens

jack in the pulpit


Here is an older Manitoba Maple- the leaves of three are no longer visible.


Finally here are a few pictures of young poison ivy, seedlings or leaves that pop up from the roots travelling just under the soil surface. 

Poison Ivy --Young plantPoison Ivy Young Plant

and finally a mature plant, This plant is about a metre tall. 

Poison Ivy mature bush

One thing about Poison Ivy is that is has a spectacular fall colour as seen below. Just don't go collecting these leaves for your fall colour table.

Poison Ivy Spectacular Fall Colour

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