Ivy: the discovery of the first poisonous plant in Italy.
It was found by three university researchers on the hills of Impruneta. The first case in Italy of poison ivy, a species from North America and China.
The discovery of a large population of poison ivy took place in Impruneta, in the province of Florence, thanks to three university researchers: Giovanni Astuti, Francesco Roma-Marzio, and Roberta Vangelisti. An alien species that has American and Chinese ancestry. The ivy samples have been included in the herbarium of the Pisan botanical museum. This type of ivy had never been found in Tuscany. In Italy, two reports date back to the 19th century. Due to its toxicity, it causes contact dermatitis, therefore it is a dangerous species.
Biological invasions are today one of the most relevant environmental issues in our society. Alien animal or plant species, introduced consciously or otherwise by man into an area where they would never have arrived with natural dynamics, can cause even serious damage to native biodiversity. In some cases, however, the problems caused by these species can also directly affect the human species. The discovery of poison ivy in Impruneta is an important example in this sense, which perhaps can be useful in making us more aware of these problems.
Lorenzo Peruzzi, director of the garden and botanical museum of the University of Pisa
The discovery of the poison ivy took place as part of an initiative promoted by the three researchers for floristry , systematics and evolution of the Italian botanical society. The three researchers are part of the technical-scientific staff of the garden and botanical museum of the University of Pisa.