Southeast Wilderness Survival
The forests of the South Eastern North American Continent are a wondrous place with many types of vegetation. In the spring there are many flowers in bloom that paint the landscape from a brilliant palette that only nature could create. This colorful scenery makes for some fantastic views, as well as some beautiful photos for nature loving photographers like myself. However there are some plants in these forests you should be aware of. Some of them will cause extremely uncomfortable rashes for those who are allergic to them, some are highly toxic if ingested, and some have the ability to do both. The following is a list of the most worrisome of these plants.
Poison Ivy is a very common plant in the south-eastern United States. It is a prolific plant that is well known for its production of urushiol, a clear liquid compound found within the sap of the plant that causes an itching rash in most people who touch it. The reaction caused by poison ivy, urushiol-induced contact dermatitis, is an allergic reaction.Reactions can be severe and even progress to the point of anaphylaxis.
It may be found as a trailing vine running along the ground with upward shoots that are between 10–25 cm tall (4 to 10 inches). It may be found as a bush or shrub that can grow up to 1.2 meters tall (4 feet). Here in the South East it is most often as a climbing vine that grows on trees, rock faces, fallen logs, and even other vines.
During the summer poison ivy produces small white flowers that will soon become green berries that grow in clusters similar to grapes. These berries grow in size over the summer and turn a white-ish gray by late in the growing season. These berries should never be eaten
Eastern or Atlantic Poison Oak is very common in the southeastern region of the U.S.
In the summer...
Horse Nettle is a very prolific plant that grows in open and disturbed areas. It is a member of the nightshade family...
Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron Radicans)
Eastern Poison Oak (Toxicodendron Pubescens)
Horse Nettle ( Solanum Carolinense )
Jimsom Weed ( Datura Stramonium )
Poison Sumac ( Toxicodendron vernix )