Ed Golson Outdoor Education

poison ivy

( Rhus radicans ), Description: Poison ivy can be a very annoying plant. It can also be tricky to correctly identify. While many people simply go with the saying "leaves of three, let it be," many other plants have groups of three leaflets. Poison ivy leaves are 2 to 4 inches long and are pointed at the tips. Poison ivy has small berries that are grayish-white and grow in compact clusters. The stems of older poison ivy are woody. The plant normally grows as a vine along trees, but it can grow as a shrub when it gets enough sunlight. The entire plant does not usually grow more than 3 feet tall, but it can grow over 8 feet tall in certain situations.

 

 

 

 

The poison from these plants is a toxin known as urushiol. The toxin can cause a rash even with incredibly small amounts; hundreds of people could be affected by the amount of urushiol on a head of a pin. Urushiol remains toxic long after the plant itself dies. Habitat: Poison ivy can be found in many different habitats . It is most commonly found in wet areas such as along lakes and streams . It can also be found in forests and along roadsides. Poison ivy has a weedy nature that allows it to spread quickly and grow in many different areas.

Back to Previous Page