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Toxicodendron radicans

Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Rhus radicans
Phonetic Spelling
toks-ee-ko-DEN-dron RAD-ee-kans
This plant is an invasive species in North Carolina
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 aerial roots.

Seasons of Interest: 

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

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 / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#fall color#invasive#drought tolerant#weed#wildlife plant#weedy#food source#NC native#food source fall#native weed#perennial weed#weedy vine#bird friendly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#fall color#invasive#drought tolerant#weed#wildlife plant#weedy#food source#NC native#food source fall#native weed#perennial weed#weedy vine#bird friendly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Toxicodendron
    Species:
    radicans
    Family:
    Anacardiaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    North America
    Wildlife Value:
    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.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Poisonous
    Shrub
    Vine
    Weed
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    White
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Hairs Present:
    No
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Attracts:
    Songbirds
    Problems:
    Contact Dermatitis
    Invasive Species
    Weedy