Previous: How Do Cuts Heal?
Next: Amazing Ways to Live in the Desert!



View count:266,189
Last sync:2024-05-23 08:15


Citation formatting is not guaranteed to be accurate.
MLA Full: "Leave Poison Ivy Alone! | Botany for Kids." YouTube, uploaded by SciShow Kids, 8 June 2017,
MLA Inline: (SciShow Kids, 2017)
APA Full: SciShow Kids. (2017, June 8). Leave Poison Ivy Alone! | Botany for Kids [Video]. YouTube.
APA Inline: (SciShow Kids, 2017)
Chicago Full: SciShow Kids, "Leave Poison Ivy Alone! | Botany for Kids.", June 8, 2017, YouTube, 03:36,
Jessi and Squeaks are ready to play outside, but there’s a unique plant they should be sure to avoid: poison ivy!

Love SciShow Kids and want to help support it? Become a patron on Patreon:
Looking for SciShow elsewhere on the internet?

Sanchez, Anita. In Praise of Poison Ivy: The Secret Virtues, Astonishing History, and and Dangerous Lore of the World's Most Hated Plant.
It’s finally spring!

Squeaks and I are going to go outside as much as we can to play in the park and go for hikes in the woods. We love looking at all the trees, flowers, and plants.

And we’re not only looking at plants! We also have to look out for some kinds of plants. One of these plants is poison ivy.

Poison ivy is a plant that grows in most of North America, especially in the United States and Canada. And for most people, touching poison ivy causes a rash that can be red, bumpy, and super itchy. That rash comes from a thick, sticky liquid that poison ivy plants make in their stems and leaves.

But even though the name “poison ivy” has the word “poison” in it, it’s not actually poisonous. Most people are just allergic to it. You might have heard of allergies before.

Maybe you have a friend who’s allergic to peanut butter, or maybe you have an allergy yourself. When someone has an allergy, that means their body reacts to whatever they’re allergic to, which is called an allergen. The allergen might not normally be dangerous, but their body gets confused and thinks that it’s dangerous and tries to fight it off.

Lots of people can eat peanut butter and be totally fine, but in someone who’s allergic, their body thinks peanut butter is dangerous. That’s why they have an allergic reaction. The same thing happens with poison ivy.

The liquid in poison ivy’s stems and leaves has a special oily chemical in it that most people are allergic to. So if you touch poison ivy, your body thinks there’s something dangerous on your skin and tries to destroy it. Your skin gets all red, and you might also end up with bumps or blisters, which are lumps filled with liquid.

And these lumps itch! But if you /do/ get a rash from poison ivy, try not to scratch it! Scratching can make the itching worse, and if your fingernails break the skin, germs can get into your body.

Instead, you can use cool water or special lotions to keep the rash from itching while it heals. It usually takes 1-3 weeks to go away. Of course, the best way to avoid an itchy poison ivy rash is to avoid the poison ivy plant!

So, whether you’re out in the woods or even just chasing a ball that rolled into the weeds, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for plants that look like poison ivy. Poison ivy looks like this for most of the year. Its leaves grow in groups.

Let’s count the number of leaves in each group! One...two...three! Yup!

Poison ivy leaves grow in groups of three. You can use this little rhyme to help you to remember what poison ivy looks like: leaves of three, let it be! Now, not all plants that have leaves in groups of three are poison ivy, but if you’re not sure, it’s better to leave those alone, too. In the fall, the leaves on the poison ivy plant still grow in groups of three, but they turn bright red. thg Since the vine also makes that oil, you shouldn’t touch it either.

If you do accidentally touch a poison ivy plant, you should wash your hands with hot soapy water as soon as you can. And since the oil can get on anything else that touches the plant, like clothes, you should make sure to wash them, too. Oh, and even though animals don’t get the rash, they can carry poison ivy oil on their fur, so it’s a good idea to keep your pets away from poison ivy.

But there’s no reason to let poison ivy stop you from getting outside this summer. Just keep your eyes open for those leaves of three, and let them be! Thanks for joining us at SciShow Kids!

What’s that Squeaks? Oh yeah, make sure to hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out on our next adventure! Thanks guys, see you next time!