The Q&A Archives: What Is Difference Between Virginia Creeper and Poison Oak?

Question: What is the difference between poison oak and Virginia creeper?


Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) is not poisonous. Leaves are divided into 5 distinct 6-inch leaflets with saw-toothed edges. It will turn bright red in the fall. It is usually a bigger, more vigorous plant than poison oak, spreading 30-50 feet or more. Western Poison Oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum) causes severe itching and dermatitis on contact. It has 3 leaflets on its leaves, but also turns bright red in fall.

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