Poison Ivy
Rhus radicans
Family Anacardiaceae

* Leaves 3-parted, long-stalked. Poison ivy leaves come in multiple shapes and textures; they can be stiff, leathery, or thin, hairy or hairless, shiny or dull, toothed or not, and reddish when young, 4-14".
* Plant grows erect or as a trailing vine with aerial rootlets.
* Flowers small, yellowish.
* Fruits small, smooth, white and round, clustered.
* Height: 2-5' when not climbing.

Natural History:
* Flowers May - July.
* Fruits August - November.
* Habitat: Young woodlands, thickets, path edges, sand dunes, walls.
* Range: Eastern United States.
* Native.

* Poison ivy is POISONOUS! Avoid it, for every part of the plant contains an oil that inflames skin and results in painfully itchy blisters and rashes. It also spreads incredibly easily, so touching a part of your body with poison ivy and then touching another part of your body or someone else will transfer the oil. The best course of action when you've come in contact with poison ivy? Water alone actually spreads the oil, so wash the affected area as soon as possible with a strong soap.

* Numerous species of birds feast on the berries of the poison ivy plant. Indeed, humans seem to be the only species unable to tolerate the plant's oils.


Created by: Allaire Diamond and Jiasuey Hsu
Maintained by: Nick Rodenhouse
Created: July 31, 1998
Last Modified: November 21, 2008