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Is This Poison Ivy?

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Submitted by:  Jim Moore
Date Submitted: 6/22/2003
Location: Mobile County, AL

Question Asked: Last weekend after we got back from fishing on our boat, my wife started getting bumps on her back. This weekend it looks really bad, and has spread to her legs. She is itching really bad. We think she got into some kind of poison ivy. This morning I went back to the creek and to the spot where we tied up, and found this plant in the attached picture. She is on her way to the doctor at this time.

Answer: Hi Jim -

Thanks for the excellent picture of poison ivy. I'm sure your wife isn't so happy about the plant. It's interesting to see the differences in the plants regionally. We're just starting to see drupes (fruit) on the plants here in northern Virginia. There in Alabama, you are seeing the plant much further along. Another characteristic that is different is that the leaflets in the picture have no lobes or teeth on the edges - just nice and smooth. The other key characteristics of the plants though remain the same with the alternating leaves along the woody stem, greenish-whitish drupes, middle leaflet on a longer stem, 3 leaflets per leaf.