Beauty and the Beast


Posted by Rebecca, August 22nd, 2011

We have had non-stop rain here all week…probably longer. It’s been a very thunderstormy summer and while our grass is looking pretty, the weeds are out in full force. Every time I planned to pull them in the past 2 weeks or so, it has rained. Finally tonight after dinner, while it was just around 80 degrees with no direct sun, I decided to tackle them.

This normally would not be blog worthy, though I have blogged about my ginormous weeds and my hatred of them before. But it became blog worthy once I saw what the rain has grown around my beloved hydrangea…

Now, I don’t know what the vine thing is. Every now and then a miniature version of it would pop up behind the hydrangea and I’d pull it, with gloves on. Knowing this could very well be poison ivy, I was sure to put on sneakers, pants and gloves. Once I climbed in there and saw the extent of this beast, I texted Mike and asked him to bring out a long sleeve shirt for me as well. I had a mysterious rash earlier in the summer and I’m starting to think this may have done it. I wasn’t taking any chances!

You may think I’m a moron for not noticing this thing sooner, but the bushes in front of the hydrangea are currently taller than it because we planted the 2 hydrangeas ourselves last year. Unless I stand on the porch steps and peek my head back there, I can’t see it. Early in the summer I did this often, but with the rain and being busy with Darwin, I haven’t walked out front in a while (we enter/exit through the garage).

The viney beast was just starting to grow around one of our trees and had wrapped itself around our security sign multiple times. I didn’t whip out my iPhone to take pictures until after I had unwrapped these parts.

This thing was such a mess that I had to pull out some giant landscaping scissor things. I just started cutting because I realized I would never be able to unwind it. I did it carefully so that I wouldn’t injure my beloved hydrangea. Soon, (okay maybe not soon, maybe it took an hour..) it was freed.

It seems to be unscathed. The back is a little flat from where the vines were, but I think she’ll be okay 🙂

I needed a wheelbarrow to cart all of the viney stuff out of there. The strangest part? It was all connected to the ground in just ONE place. It was one giant vine!!!

Now, here is where I ask for your help in identifying the beast. This is obviously my first house and I have never touched poison anything before. I know about the good ol’ rhyme of “leaves of three, let it be” but these leaves? Single leaves that look like mittens.. if you had 2 thumbs…

Everything I google seems to go back to pictures that look like this…

Though I was careful (okay I could have been more careful), I can’t help but feel itchy at the thought of all of the vineage I handled (even with gloves). Plus I’ve heard of people who have taped their gloves to their sleeves and still manage to catch a rash :::scratches face, shoulder and hand while typing:::

At least I saved the hydrangea?


Poison plants image from here

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13 Responses to “Beauty and the Beast”

  1. Cait @ Hernando House says:

    I’m not sure what your vine is, but I’ve been fighting some sort of viney-thing all over our backyard and in the front planters. Not that we have anything actually planted, but still.

    I think ours was poison oak or sumac, and I’ve avoided a rash (or at least a major one) by scrubbing the oil from the vine off almost immediately. If it is something like that it depends on how reactive you are. Some people are less reactive than others.

    I hope your hydrangea is ok!

  2. Mel says:

    I have a houseplant in my office right now that is viney and has the EXACT same shaped leaves. I don’t know the name of it though.

    I really wouldn’t worry about it. Not everything that grows like crazy in your garden is poisonous. We have a holly tree that keeps wanting to come from under the house!

  3. Jodi says:

    It’s not poison ivy, oak or sumac. I’m not sure where you live, but in the south we have Kudzu that is just like your speciman in that it’s invasive, viney and grows crazy fast. Do some googling and see if that matches your species.

  4. Stephanie says: Looks like a weed form of morning glory native to New Jersey. Good luck!

  5. Jeff says:

    Definitely not poison ivy or any variant. Since you mentioned that you have an iPhone, you may want to download a free app called LeafSnap. Take a pic of the leaf and it’s supposed to ID it for you. My wife just downloaded it so I don’t know how well it works. Worth a try, though.

  6. Jen says:

    Definitely morning glory and definitely a PITA. I’m in South Jersey and morning glory/bindweed is a major pain in my gardens. There are various types of it…the leaf size varies, as does the leaf shape (some are more deeply indented, some are more arrow-shaped). Even ornamental morning glory can be weedy…but it isn’t quite as invasive as this stuff (and it’s easier to pull out and maintain control over). I typically avoid pesticides in my gardens, but I’ve even resorted to Round-Up while trying to eradicate this stuff. Try to yank it before it flowers…once it goes to seed, it spreads voraciously and will definitely reappear next season. Good luck!

  7. rose says:

    Wow! Thank you for sharing this information. Keep posting!

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