But first, a public service announcement about a certain substance found on three-leafed plants throughout North America--urushiol.
If you've done much in the way of hiking, camping, bushwhacking, orienteering, or any other activity that involves tromping around wooded areas, you've probably come across this plant:
If you're one of the 80% of humans who react on contact with it, it has made your life a living hell for weeks after the fact. And if not, then just you wait--one of these days, you will be.
This three-leafed, hairy vine causes millions of rashes and blisters each year. It grows in an impressive range of climates and soil types: from the Caribbean to the Arctic, and from flood-prone bayous to thin-soiled mountainsides up to 5000' in altitude. It and its sister species account for 10% of all lost-time injuries in the United States Forest Service. And as atmospheric carbon dioxide levels increase, it's only growing larger and more potent.
I speak, of course, of Toxicodendron radicans, known to most folks as poison ivy.