Ragweed or poison ivy?

Ragweed or poison ivy?

Ragweed Poison Ivy
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Plant Description

  • Annual plant that dies in late fall
  • Its toothed leaves are similar to carrot leaves, are solid green on both sides and have 3 distinct lobes
  • When in bloom, flowers are greenish yellow and clustered in cones at the top of the stem
  • The plant is 10 cm to 1.5 m tall
  • The plant grows in poor soil
  • The allergenic element is the pollen which causes hay fever

Plant Description

  • Perennial plant, which can appear in various forms: bushy, creeping or climbing.
  • Shiny foliage, wine red in spring, dark green in summer and multicoloured in fall
  • Alternating leaves arranged in three folioles.
  • The central petiole is longer than the other two.
  • The edge of the leaves can be smooth or slightly jagged.
  • Its height ranges from 20 cm to nearly 1 m.
  • Contains a poisonous sap which causes inflammation of the skin, even in winter.

Symptoms related to ragweed allergy

  • Only allergic individuals experience symptoms. Each year, ragweed pollen affects 10% of the population in Quebec.
  • Allergic rhinitis (repetitive sneezing, nasal congestion, abundant clear nasal discharge, itching of the nose, throat and ears).
  • Conjunctivitis (red eyes, tearing, itchy eyes, swollen eyelids).
  • Allergic asthma (cough, breathlessness, wheezing).

Symptoms caused by poison ivy

  • Everyone can react to poison ivy.
  • Painful red skin inflammation.
  • Strong itching.
  • Formation of blisters on the affected parts.
  • To have an allergic reaction, the person must have been in contact with the poisonous sap.

How to eliminate ragweed?

  • The easiest and cheapest way is to manually uproot the plants. Uprooting the seedlings before the bloom (in early August) will stop the release of millions of pollen grains, thus preventing reproduction and invasion of lands.
  • Use mulch to prevent weeds from sprouting.
  • Improve soil quality (topsoil, fertilizer).

How to eliminate poison ivy?

  • Wearing gloves is necessary at all times when handling the plant and it is very important to avoid any contact with the skin.
  • It is possible to destroy the seedling by uprooting it and tilling the soil to eliminate the roots.
  • Pick up the dead plants and place them in garbage bags or bury them very deep in the soil.
  • Never burn the plant. Inhaling the smoke can cause severe pulmonary reaction.