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Western Poison Ivy

Toxicodendron rydbergii
(Rhus radicans)

Photo © by Michael Plagens

Spring foliage is shiny green. Spring 2009.

Photo © by Michael Plagens

Poison Ivy gains a foothold in the Sonoran Desert only in riparian habitat where there is plenty of water and shade. Come autumn the changing leaves add a splash of color. This patch was found growing with columbine at Mesquite Wash, Maricopa Co., Arizona, Oct. 27, 2002.

small clusters of flower on poison ivy are set close to the stem and appear in spring RANGE:Upland Sonoran Desert in well watered riparian habitats.

VINE: Rambling and often vine like. Occasionally short stems may be partially ascending without supporting surfaces.

LEAVES: Shiny, compound leaves are three parted. Change to characteristic sumac red in autumn.

FRUIT: White berries.

FLOWERS: Inconspicuous whitish-yellow flowers. The small clusters are set close to the stem and appear in spring.

UNARMED. Leaves and stems produce resin that causes dermatitis in susceptible persons.

Anacardiaceae -- Sumac Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2009