Scientific Name: Toxicodendron radicans

Common Name: eastern poison ivy

Other Common Names: poison ivy

Synonyms: Rhus radicans, Rhus verrucosa

Habit: Its stems are slender, from gray to red-brown, sparingly pubescent or glabrous, slender aerial roots present and older growth becomes densely covered and hairy in appearance; buds are stalked, naked, fuzzy brown, 1/4 inch long.

Leaves: The leaves are toxic and have 3 leaflets, 7 to 10 inches long. These leaflets are ovate and irregularly toothed, shiny green above, and paler below.

Identifying Characteristics: Poison Ivy is recognized by its 3-parted leaves. It also stands out in the fall, when the leaves turn brilliant shades of red and orange.

Flower Seed Head: Small and yellowish-green. It appears in clusters, present late spring to early summer.

Seed Fruit: Greenish white, round, 1/4 inch in diameter, borne in a hanging cluster, ripe in late summer and persist through winter.

Where Found: May be present as a low (6 to 18 inches), spreading on the forest floor, as a climbing vine, or as a bush.

  • Life cycle: perennial

  • Milky sap: Not Present

  • Plant type: Vine

  • Thorns: Not Present

  • Plant family: Anacardiaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: alternate

  • Leaf shape: oval

  • Ochrea: Not Present

  • Leaf margin: entire; serrated

  • Stem hairs: no hairs

  • Flower color: white; yellow; green; orange

  • Growth habit: vine

  • Stem: round or oval

  • Leaf structure: palmate; trifoliate

  • Leaf hairs: no hairs; has hairs

  • Flower diameter: pencil

  • Flower symmetry: radial symetery

  • Root structure: taproot; rhizomes present; fibrous

  • Leaf stalk: shorter than leaf