Poison Mystery!

Well, it’s definitely getting to be summertime, and that means one thing… Poison Ivy is everywhere!  However, it has recently come to my attention that there are an awful lot of people who either have no idea what it looks like, or, maybe worse, actually think they can identify it but are looking at a different plant!  So, as a public service, I’m going to let you test your poison-ivy skills!  It will start today, with this short quiz, to see if you can pick out which one of these photos represents poison-ivy.  At the end of the week, I’ll post a few more challenging photos, to see if you can pick poison-ivy out from a group of look-alikes all growing together. Whether you are out in the woods every day, like me, or you just like to take a Saturday morning walk with the family, or you’re planning an outdoor vacation, it’s a good idea to know how to avoid this plant!

All of these photos were taken in Wisconsin, where we have 2 species of Poison Ivy: Toxicodendron radicans and Toxicodendron rydbergii.  They look pretty similar, so you should consider them interchangeable for the purpose of this quiz.  One or the other is present throughout most of the United States, at least east of the Rockies.  Good luck!

(click on photos to see larger)

Photo A

Photo B

Photo C

Photo D

Photo E

Photo F

Photo G


4 thoughts on “Poison Mystery!

  1. I’m guessing E, though it’s hard to tell, with so many leaves of three, let them be, shown. 🙂 Though I have no reaction anymore to poison ivy, I developed the very same allergy to many green plants when I brush up against them on my bare skin and they’re wet. Fun post!

  2. This is great! I live around poison ivy and have spent the whole week in the woods. I think I know what it is when I see it, but most likely I am mistaken. I tend to stay away from all plants with three leaves, especially any around trees.

    • Unfortunately, poison ivy can also grow quite happily in an open field – doesn’t need trees at all – though it depends on what species you have near you!

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