Rhus (Toxicodendron) radicans
(Poison Oak)
[L., Kuntze]

Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Sapindales
Family: Anacardiaceae
Family Description: Sumac

Key Characteristics:
shrub to 2 M tall, usually single-stemmed < that 1 M tall; (In eastern U. S. can be a vine or an herb)
  • compound, trifoliate
  • arise from tip of woody stem
  • in dense, axillary clusters at terminus of stems
  • greenish-white
  • not showy
  • depressed globose
  • 5-6 mm in diameter
  • as the ridged-grooved appearance of a tiny green pumpkin
  • Acute or acuminate
  • 4-10 cm long
  • entire to coarsely toothed
  • glabrous

General Description:
Looks like a shrub. It grows to 2 M tall. It usually is single-stemmed less than 1 M hieght. In the eastern U. S. can be seen as a vine or an herb.

East side of Cascades, eastern Washington, east to Atlantic coast south to Florida and west & south to Mexico.

In cracks in basalt, sometimes near streams thus riparian
Can grow with cactus or hardstem bulrush, thus in various habitats

All parts of this plant can cause dermatitis in anyone susceptible causes skin blisters, itching, sometimes pain when in contact with skin

Important State References:
No information available at this time
Photos and Information written by Dr. Karl Holte, 2002