Coastal and Tropical South
How Stuff Works
If you're one of the millions of people who are allergic to poison ivy, check this How Stuff Works site for solid information on this pest plant. An article by Stephanie Wilson goes into detail about how to recognize the poison ivy, poison sumac, and poison oak. You will become one with uroshiol, the bad boy that makes this plant family infamous. The site is interesting as a whole, but this article is a keeper.
Favorite or New Plant
As a young graduate student, I went on a horticulture field trip through the commercial operations of southern California, and what stood out among everything I saw was a hedge of jade plants outside a modest motel. Most people grow this crassula in containers, but they are a good choice for the warmest parts of our region, with some exceptions. Temperature is important, but jade plants demand sandy soil and infrequent irrigation once they are a few years old. Some parts of our region are just too rainy, resulting in leaf spots and stem rot. But everyone can grow an ancient jade in a container, and they should. After a few years, the stubby, swollen green thumb-like leaves will burst with the most delicate pink stars in smart clusters that cover the plants.