Kids with rhus dermatitis, caused by exposure to poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac, can be miserable. Even with treatment, they can expect several days or weeks, of itching.
And since most people are sensitive to, and have a reaction when exposed to poison ivy and these other plants, avoiding them is important. But to avoid them, unless you plan on never going outside, you have to learn what they looks like.
To avoid these plants, in addition to the basic 'leaves of three, let it be', you should look for these characteristics of poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac:
Poison Ivy Identification
- frequently found around lakes and streams in the Midwestern and the Eastern parts of the United States and is also commonly found growing along trails and roadsides
- poison ivy grows as a woody, ropelike vine that can grow along fences or up trees, a trailing shrub on the ground, or a free-standing shrub
- it normally has three leaflets (groups of leaves all on the same small stem coming off the larger main stem), but may vary from groups of three to nine
- leaves are green in the summer and red in the fall
- yellow or green flowers and white berries
Poison Ivy Pictures
These pictures of poison ivy will help make it even easier for you to identify and avoid these plants:
If you discover poison ivy in your yard, see this guide to getting rid of poison ivy for tips on clearing it away.
Photo Credits (in order of appearance):
- Robert H. Mohlenbrock @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / USDA SCS. 1991. Southern wetland flora: Field office guide to plant species. South National Technical Center, Fort Worth, TX.
- Jennifer Anderson @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database
- Copyright: Steve Katz Usage: Royalty Free from istockphoto.com
- Copyright: Audrey Roorda Usage: Royalty Free from istockphoto.com
- Copyright: Andrea Gingerich Usage: Royalty Free from istockphoto.com