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Extension > Garden > Diagnose a problem > Is this plant a weed? > Broadleaf Weeds > Vining > Poison Ivy

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Poison Ivy

Toxicodendron radicans (L.) Kuntze, (Rhus radicans)

  • Image: broadleaf Plantain
  • Image: broadleaf Plantain
  • Image: broadleaf Plantain
  • - CLICK PHOTOS TO ENLARGE -

Found in:

  • Landscape plantings, woodland edges, and open woodlands

Characteristics:

  • Native woody perennial shrub or vine
  • Leaves are always divided into three leaflets
  • Most often leaflets are oval-shaped, 2 to 4 inches in length, pointed at the tip, and have notched or smooth edges; middle leaflet has a longer leaf stem than the two side leaflets (see bottom left photo)
  • Leaf surfaces may be smooth or hairy, glossy or dull; they can vary in color from yellowish-green and green to reddish-green
  • Flowers are yellowish-green, small, 5 petaled, and borne in a cluster 1 - 3" long; flowering occurs Aug. through Sept.
  • Poison-ivy fruits, which develop in fall, are small white berries with sunken ribs

Significance

  • All parts of the plant are poisonous and cause blistering of the skin
  • NEVER BURN THE PLANT - smoke and ash can cause a skin rash; inhaling smoke can cause serious health problems
  • Wear protective clothing when hand pulling
  • Minnesota Primary Noxious Weed that spreads rapidly and aggressively by underground stems (rhizomes) and by seeds

Plants that look similar:

More information and control options for Poison Ivy...

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