Poison Ivy

Toxicodendron radicans

Family Anacardiaceae

Notable Features
Leaves: Alternate*, compound*, glossy leaves with three highly variable leaflets*. Leaflets can either be smooth or slightly hairy; can have smooth edges or be somewhat toothed* and irregular. The end leaflet is usually larger than the two surrounding leaflets, has a sharper point, and usually extends further out on the stem than the other two leaflets.
Bark: When the plant takes the form of a climbing vine, the roots are visible and feathery, becoming brown and fibrous once older,a nd the main vine is often covered with reddish hair.
Fruit: Small, white berries droop in clusters from the stems of the plant August through November.
Size/ Shape: Grows as a small shrub*, or as a larger climbing or trailing vine*.

Location on Campus

(click for map)

This little plant can be found all over campus: at the edges of wooded areas or thickets (such as the one next to Chapel's Field), throughout Sachar woods, climbing on buildings and trees, and along fences.

WARNING: Do not let this plant touch any part of your body, for it carries a dangerous oil that causes severe dermal reactions in many individuals. Not to be ingested.

Except where specifically noted, all text, photographs, and drawings copyright Chris Bersbach and Lisa Leombruni 2002. No part of this page may be reproduced without the express permission of the authors.