Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Poison Ivy
Give a thumbs up Eastern Poison Ivy
Give a thumbs up Mercury
Give a thumbs up Marlweed
Give a thumbs up Three-Leaved Ivy

Botanical names:
Toxicodendron radicans Accepted
Rhus radicans Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Partial Shade to Full Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 4a -34.4 °C (-30 °F) to -31.7 °C (-25 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 10b
Plant Height: 1 to 3 feet (30-90 cm)
Plant Spread: 3 to 6 feet (.9-18 m)
Leaves: Deciduous
Fruit: Edible to birds
Uses: Will Naturalize
Toxicity: Leaves are poisonous
Roots are poisonous
Fruit is poisonous
Other: All parts of plant contain urushiol oil, a toxic oil
Propagation: Seeds: Self fertile
Pollinators: Bees

white fruit (drupes)

Control Those Weeds: Poison IvyControl Those Weeds: Poison Ivy
August 28, 2012

This is the fourth in a series that will offer descriptions and control measures for some of the most common weeds. For the most part I will be referring to weeds found in the Midwest because that’s where I live and these are the ones I’m most familiar with.

(Full article22 comments)
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Posted by Newyorkrita (North Shore, Long Island, NY ) on Sep 21, 2013 10:29 AM

Leaves of three, leave it be. Poison Ivy is not a plant any of us want to see growing in our gardens. Birds seems to spread the seeds, so I do end up with some young poison ivy plants each summer. Be sure to yank them out while small.

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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Oct 27, 2018 7:17 PM

Eastern Poison-Ivy is a common woody vine (liana) with a large range in eastern North America. It can be a groundcover vine, a low semi-bush, or it can be a climbing vine to 150 feet long up trees and structures. It climbs by aerial rootlets that form a hair-like mass along the stems, like Euonymus. It has alternate, compound leaves about 6 to 14 inches long of three leaflets. The foliage gets a fantastic red or orange fall color. From the tiny, inconspicuous flowers form small white fruits, rounded drupes about 1/5 inch in diameter that are eaten by birds and spread around a lot. All parts of the plant contain the irritant oil that causes red rashes on skin. One must immediately wash off that oil if exposed with soaps or Tecnu solution. I did not get hit by this plant every year and as much back in the Midwest versus the Mid-Atlantic Region. I have to watch out for small, young plants among the weeds or ornamental plants in my Pennsylvania yard, as my bird friends deposit the seeds each year. I usually get the rash on my forearms and the rash usually affects me for about 2 weeks.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Can you ID? I thought it was poison oak at first. by Ewo Aug 8, 2018 7:45 AM 8
Can you find poison ivy in this picture? by CJW21 Aug 5, 2018 12:37 PM 5
Vine identification by Arpn2011 Aug 8, 2018 6:28 AM 23
Please tell me what this plant is by Scusick728 Jul 15, 2018 8:22 AM 4
Poisonous plant? by Beanie13 Jun 2, 2018 2:27 PM 5
Poison ivy? by mlontario Jun 1, 2018 10:05 AM 11
Need help identifying plant by Ayudame Apr 28, 2018 12:04 PM 10
Is this poison ivy?? by idreos Sep 16, 2017 9:08 PM 3
Is this poison ivy? by kreid75 Aug 21, 2017 6:30 PM 4
leaves of 3, but not poison ivy by Muddy1 Jul 30, 2017 3:54 PM 9

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