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Toxicodendron radicans Toxicodendron radicans

Common Name(s):

  • Poison Ivy
Description

Toxicodendron radicans, commonly called poison ivy, is the ultimate weed that no one wants. “Leaflets three, let it be.” It is native throughout the United States and much of southern Canada in a large variety of locations including dry or wet woodlands, thickets, valleys, clearings, fencerows, roadsides and waste ground. It primarily appears as a bushy, erect or trailing shrub or as a woody climbing vine. Climbing vines have aerial rootlets. All parts of the plant contain a toxic plant oil called urushiol which can cause significant and long-lasting skin irritations (allergic dermatitis) in most human beings. Infection can occur from direct contact with the plant, indirect contact (e.g., dog, rake or shoes) or from breathing smoke from a fire of plant material. Some humans seem to be immune. The bark is dark gray and densely covered in arial roots.

Toxicodendron radicans is synonymous with Rhus radica.

Regions:  Mountain, Piedmont, Coastal plains

Seasons of Interest: 

  Leaf:   Fall                  Blooms:  Spring            Nut/Fruit/Seed:  Fall

Wildlife Value:  This plant is moderately resistant to damage from deer.  Although this plant can cause severe skin irritations on some people, the fruits are readily eaten by songbirds and woodpeckers.  White-tailed deer and rabbits browse the plant.

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems:  Do not touch any part of a poison ivy plant. All parts of the plant contain volatile oils that can cause significant skin irritation on direct or indirect contact. Do not burn plant materials because contact with smoke from the burning materials can be just as toxic as touching the plants, and breathing that smoke can be even more hazardous. 

Cultivars:
Tags:
#deciduous#invasive#songbirds#drought tolerant#good fall
Cultivars:
Tags:
#deciduous#invasive#songbirds#drought tolerant#good fall
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Toxicodendron
    Species:
    radicans
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Poisonous
    Shrub
    Vine
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
  • Flower:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    White
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Hairs Present:
    No
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Attracts:
    Songbirds