As an admirable example of egalitarianism toward all plant life, Longwood Gardens has this carefully cultivated display of poison ivy. It is a pretty plant with its shiny leaves covered in oil, but scary for many of us. The display is on the south side of the large lake, away from the paved walkway, so you will have to walk across the grass to see it. You can test the knowledge of a docent by asking where it is. Because the display is small and away from the public, they may not know, but you can educate them. On their official map, it is below the “23” marker for the lake.
Despite being native to Asia, poison ivy is unknown to many Asians, who are surprised and puzzled by it. Since ivy poisoning is an allergic reaction by our own bodies, the first exposure only triggers the sensitivity and does not produce the symptoms. From then on, however, beware. Growing up, a rash of ivy poisoning covered with white calamine lotion was a normal part of summer for many of us.
Your gonna need an ocean
Of calamine lotion.
You’ll be scratching like a hound
The minute you start to mess around.
Poison Iv-y-y-y-y, Poison Iv-y-y-y-y.
Late at night while you’re sleepin’ Poison Ivy comes a’creepin’
The Coasters, 1959 (It sounds better when they do it, but the words still do not make sense.)