Poison Ivy, one of the most hated plants in the world that causes irritation and itching on skin, has a new ally who wants to protect it from ending up becoming extinct. While there being fewer of these plants in the wild is good news for gardeners, it’s bad news for botanists who grew a weird attachment to the annoying weed.
While most people are celebrating Poison Ivy’s potential exit from the Earth, while some botanists are in mourning. “I love toxicodendron radicans, because I like the green. It’s why I became a botanist,” said Eugene Humphries, founder of The Society to Save Poison Ivy From Extinction (TSTSPIFE), which is located in New Hampshire. “It might seem like it’s everywhere, but if you seriously look back and recall the last time you had Poison Ivy rashes, you were probably in elementary school. It’s really not that bad.”
To save Poison Ivy, Humphries suggests everyone stops pulling it from their gardens, backyards, lawns, and hiking trails. “The more that it stays, the more will grow. Gardeners and selfish moms with kids who whine about a little itch on their leg have destroyed the most aesthetically interesting plant I’ve ever known. Roses have thorns, but I don’t see anybody trying to pull them out of the ground and into extinction. Personally, I don’t see a problem with rolling around in the plant. It’s really very satisfying”.
Humphries will do whatever it takes to spread the word. He plans to go around the United States to recruit more TSTSPIFE members. He also shared his plans to place signs around parks, in yards, and gardens, reminding folks of the damage they’re doing to the Earth. “If Poison Ivy goes away, I have to live the rest of my life knowing that people I don’t like will enjoy their hikes, itch-free,” he said. “All I really need is two or three more members, so I’m not doing this alone. Help me protect toxicodendron radicans, and you’ll help save a wonderful plant, and maybe even help save the world.”