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Toxicodendron radicans

Toxicodendron radicans (L.) Kuntze

 

Poison Ivy, Eastern Poison Ivy

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderSapindalesIncludes citrus; maples, horse-chestnuts, lychees and rambutans; mangos and cashews; frankincense and myrrh; mahogany and neem
FamilyAnacardiaceaeCashew or sumac family
GenusToxicodendronMeans “poison tree”
SpeciesradicansWith rooting stems

About plant names...

If I had to figure out which plant was the space alien, I’d peg the poison ivy. Like Star Trek’s Borg, it seems to be saying Resistance is futile. It accounts for three quarters of the vegetation along some nearby streets. It shoots up tree trunks, with bright aerial roots that seem to be assimilating the trees. It withstands herbicides, drawing on its extensive root system to rally, sometimes returning the next season, gnarled but unrepentant.

Similar species:
 

Toxicodendron radicans (Poison Ivy, Eastern Poison Ivy)

4/27/2010 · Nashua River at Rte. 119, Pepperell, MA
≈ 7 × 9" (18 × 23 cm)

 
Clematis virginiana
You are here
Toxicodendron radicans
Common Name

Wild Clematis

Poison Ivy
Plant Vine 12-15' (3.7-4.6 m) long. A low plant, a bush, a vine on the ground, or a vine that climbs trees.
Flowers Showy white or cream clusters, each flower about 1" (2.5 cm) across, with five petals and many stamens. Small, yellowish-green, inconspicuous.
Leaves In clusters of three; clusters are opposite to each other, not alternating. In groups of tree, shiny when young, alternating.
Seeds Soft, silky fluffs.  
Fruit   Small greenish-white berries.
Range/ Zones

USDA Zones: 3-8

Habitats Low, moist woods; thickets; stream banks Disturbed areas, roadsides, waste areas
Type Wild Wild
Occurrence Common Common

 

Identification: Young poison ivy has furled red shiny leaves. The leaves unfold, becoming dark green, remaining shiny, 1-2" (2.5-5 cm) long. Leaves are in groups of 3. (Leaves of three, let it be.) As the plant ages, the leaf color lightens and the characteristic shine lessens and disappears. Notice the spikes that are present on most leaves. If you see a vine climbing a tree, and it has myriad rootlets reaching into the bark, it is probably poison ivy. It may also appear as a bush or a vine creeping along the ground. In the fall, leaves are bright red. Flowers are small and yellowish-green, and berries are dull white or greenish-white. Poison ivy has two relatives, poison oak and poison sumac. Poison oak looks a little similar.

Edibility: Poisonous Skull & Crossbones Every part of poison ivy, leaves, berries, and roots, contains urushiol, the stuff that triggers an immune reaction—a blistering rash that persists for 2-3 weeks. Even the leaves from last fall are dangerous. Fumes from burning poison ivy create extremely painful blisters inside your lungs, and can be life-threatening. What can you do if you’ve been exposed? By many accounts, spotted jewelweed will reduce the symptoms. This common plant is often found near poison ivy. Crush the stems and rub the juices over the exposed areas. If possible, doff your clothes so that any resin on them won’t cause further problems, and shower. The shower won’t help areas that are already exposed, but it will reduce the chance of spreading. If you think you’ve breathed burning poison ivy, or get it in your eyes, or have an exceptionally severe reaction, see a doctor. More information is available here and in the spotted jewelweed article.

Think you’re immune to poison ivy? Most of us are, the first one or two times we are exposed. But sensitivity increases with repeated exposures. At least 80% of people are allergic. Later in life, sensitivity begins to wane again.

Online References:

Toxicodendron radicans on Missouriplants.com

Toxicodendron radicans at the Poison Ivy, Oak & Sumac Information Center

Toxicodendron radicans on Carolina Nature, from Will Cook

Toxicodendron radicans at Illinois Wildflowers

Toxicodendron radicans on kingdomPlantae.net

Toxicodendron radicans on the Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide

Toxicodendron radicans on Florida Nature

Toxicodendron radicans (Poison Ivy, Eastern Poison Ivy)

10/17/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 31 × 46" (78 × 117 cm)

Toxicodendron radicans (Poison Ivy, Eastern Poison Ivy)

7/11/2012 · Jeff Smith Trail, Pepperell, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Toxicodendron radicans (Poison Ivy, Eastern Poison Ivy)

6/13/2011 · Great Falls State Park, Washington, DC
≈ 14 × 9" (35 × 23 cm)

Toxicodendron radicans (Poison Ivy, Eastern Poison Ivy)

9/21/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Dunstable, MA
≈ 5 × 4½" (12 × 12 cm)

Toxicodendron radicans (Poison Ivy, Eastern Poison Ivy)

4/24/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Ayer, MA
≈ 6 × 5" (15 × 13 cm)

Toxicodendron radicans (Poison Ivy, Eastern Poison Ivy)

6/5/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Toxicodendron radicans description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 20 Apr 2015.

© FloraFinder.org. All rights reserved.


 

Toxicodendron radicans (Poison Ivy, Eastern Poison Ivy)

9/25/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 7 × 8" (16 × 21 cm)

Toxicodendron radicans (Poison Ivy, Eastern Poison Ivy)

6/14/2017 · J. Harry Rich State Forest, Groton, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (18 × 12 cm)

Toxicodendron radicans (Poison Ivy, Eastern Poison Ivy)

Roots from vine climbing a tree · 7/2/2005 · Pepperell, MA

Toxicodendron radicans (Poison Ivy, Eastern Poison Ivy)

10/26/2012 · Dunstable Rural Land Trust Wildlife Refuge, Dunstable, MA
≈ 4½ × 3" (11 × 7.9 cm)

Toxicodendron radicans (Poison Ivy, Eastern Poison Ivy)

Immature fruit. · 6/13/2011 · Great Falls State Park, Washington, DC
≈ 9 × 6" (22 × 14 cm)

Toxicodendron radicans (Poison Ivy, Eastern Poison Ivy)

The shine on younger leaves fades with age. · 5/4/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, East Pepperell, MA
≈ 9 × 8" (22 × 20 cm)

Toxicodendron radicans (Poison Ivy, Eastern Poison Ivy)

5/4/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, East Pepperell, MA
≈ 14 × 9" (35 × 23 cm)

Toxicodendron radicans (Poison Ivy, Eastern Poison Ivy)

4/11/2015 · Big Cypress Bend, Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park, FL
≈ 19 × 12" (47 × 31 cm)

Toxicodendron radicans (Poison Ivy, Eastern Poison Ivy)

4/11/2015 · Big Cypress Bend, Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park, FL
≈ 15 × 10" (37 × 25 cm)

Toxicodendron radicans (Poison Ivy, Eastern Poison Ivy)

8/4/2009 · Near Nashoba Hospital, Ayer, MA
≈ 36 × 24" (90 × 60 cm)

Range:

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