Toxicodendron radicans (L.) Kuntze

  • Family: Anacardiaceae
  • Common names: poison ivy, poison oak
  • Synonyms: numerous subspecies and varieties

    Upright, trailing, or high-climbing woody vine or shrub. When climbing, the stems cling to surfaces with aerial roots. Leaves compound, with three large acute or acuminate leaflets. Flowers greenish, in axillary panicles. Fruits small, whitish or grayish. A variable species or group of related species, subspecies, and varieties.

    Distribution: The species occurs throughout the U. S. east of the Rocky Mountains. Similar species are found in the west.
    Habitat: Poison ivy is most abundant in floodplain forests, but is often found in other habitats.
    NWI status: FAC
    Comment: The shrub form is usually called poison oak and the trailing or climbing forms are called poison ivy. All the forms or varieties are capable of causing a severe dermatitis, with itching and swelling of the affected parts. Toxicodendron is Greek for "poison tree"; radicans refers to its climbing habit.

    Distribution in Oklahoma:

    Last update: 9/20/99
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