You know the old adage: Leaves of three, leave me be!
But there are many plants with three leaves and most are harmless, including wild strawberries and raspberries. Using just a few clues, it is easy to identify poison ivy.
Color is not a useful clue. Leaves are usually green. They can be light green or dark. They can be dull or shiny. There are three poison ivy plants in the center of this photo. The leaves change color in the fall. In this climate, poison ivy is a ground plant, usually knee high or shorter, but can vary with conditions.
The three clues to Poison Ivy identification:
In the fall the leaves can become yellow or have shades of red and orange.
- It has three leaves.
- The leaves don't have symmetry. The edges (margins) of each side of a leaf are different.
- The serration (jaggedness) on any leaf edge are uneven. They start and stop with no particular pattern.
Visit poison-ivy.org for more information.