Anacardiaceae / Cashews
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Warning: This plant contains the volatile oil urushiol which is highly irritating to many if not most people. The
urushiol is in all parts of the plant and is very stable. People have had reactions to dry specimens over a century old.(Foster & Duke) It can be
carried on smoke and inhaled which can be fatal for highly allergic people. Some people seem to be totally unaffected by
it and others appear to develop a tolerance after exposure. Euell Gibbons recommended, in his book Stalking the Wild Asparagus that one eat a leaf each day as
they begin to emerge in the spring starting with a tiny new leaf. This, it is supposed, will make one immune to the plant. It
is an old tale and may work. Now you should be able to get commercial preparations that have the same effect and may
be safer. Even if you feel you are totally unaffected by Poison Ivy you should still avoid it. Your immunity may change
and you could pass the oil on to a third party via your skin or clothes. Flesh, fabric and any other type of surface that
contacts the plant should be washed with soap or alcohol as soon as possible. The oil is not particularly easy to remove
and, as stated above, will, if not removed, persist for a very long time. The juice of certain plants, such as Jewelweed, Impatiens capensis have a reputation for removing the oil effectively.
One of the best general guides to wildflowers of the North Eastern and North Central United States. Newcomb's key is an excellent, simple method for identifying plants. Newcomb has drawings for almost every plant mentioned that are excellent aids to identifying the species. Though only the more common plants are covered this is often the first book I pick up when trying to identify a wildflower.
This is perhaps the best of many field guides covering this region. Featuring 446 excellent color photographs (located with the text) and mentioning as similar to those illustrated are another 800 or so species for a total coverage of over 1,200 species. The start of each family section includes line drawings of some of the species showing important features. The text includes the usual description, bloom season, range, habitat and additionally includes information such as medical uses and lore and how the species was named. This is the official field guide of the Tennessee Native Plant Society.
Angiosperms / Flowering Plants
Dicots / Two Seed Leaves