Apr 1st, 2016

Native Foe Turned Friend

poison ivy -- Toxicodendron radicans

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is excited to announce plans for its latest addition: a Poison Ivy Garden. The new garden will provide seasonal interest and great fall color.

The addition of poison ivy is part of the Garden’s educational mission. Signage will help guests learn valuable information about the toxic plant, such as “Leaves of three, let it be!” By turning a foe into a friend, the Garden will explain how this native plant supports the local ecosystem as both food and habitat for insect and animal populations. Guests will also learn more about poison ivy’s ability to thrive in a wide variety of soil and moisture conditions. According to the New England WildFlower Society’s Go Botany project (supported by the National Science Foundation): “Field experiments have shown that poison ivy is tolerant of being inundated by wastewater, and could potentially be used to treat sewage.”

Clearly, the time to celebrate poison ivy has come. Six-foot-tall clear plastic walls will be constructed around the new garden to ensure guest safety and maintain aesthetics. Because they are immune to poison ivy, goats will be brought in to maintain the area.

We hope that you will get the itch to come and see the new Poison Ivy Garden soon.

April Fools!

Tonisha Albritton is a PR & Marketing intern at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. She loves to interact and meet with new people. When she's not in school or working, her favorite thing to do is spend time with her family.

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  • yevonnechilders

    Very upset to hear about a poison ivy garden. There are those of us out there who are highly allergic. This will not bode well for visits to the garden. No matter how many walls you erect, someone will become infected. Also, hope you don’t allow children (or adults) to play with the goats after they’ve cleaned up the poison ivy. The liquid can stay on their skin and infect those who touch them.

    • Jonah Holland

      Hi Yevonnechilders — We completely agree with you. I’m sorry that it was not clear at the time you read this, that this is an April Fools’ Day joke. Please feel free to reach out to me directly if you have any additional questions or concerns. JonahH [at] lewisginter.org