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How To Spot Poison Ivy In The Fall Season

Updated: Apr 20


Poison ivy isn't actually an ivy but a common native plant related to sumac, cashew and mango trees. Like most plants in Autumn, poison ivy also changes colours from the greens to the yellows and reds common to the season.


Poison ivy can still be identified by it's 3 leaflets but with the additional appearance of waxy green or yell coloured berries. Although the plant itself is no longer green its sap still contains urushiol oil in Autumn and Winter months. Urushiol causes the allergic skin reaction that poison ivy is famously known for often times resulting in the itchy, blistering rash.


This type of allergic reaction to poison ivy is almost exclusive to humans meaning animals such as livestock and pets are unaffected by poison ivy. Some wildlife species actually eat poison ivy such as deer who eat the leaves, or birds who eat the berries and help to spread the plant to other areas.


Urushiol (the active allergen in poison ivy) can still be transferred from animals to humans. Being in direct contact with poison ivy isn't even necessary to develop a rash sometimes! How to spot poison ivy: 1) Poison ivy grows in 3 leaf groupings;

2) Poison ivy leaves will sometimes have a "sub leaflet" that looks like a thumb or an oven mitt;

3) Poison ivy leaves will have smoother edges (not very jagged or rough);

4) Poison ivy berries are green in the summer and white or waxy (colour) in the fall;

5) Poison ivy leaves are green in the summer and change to a reddish - orange colour in the fall;

6) Poison ivy will NOT have any thorns

7) Poison ivy leaves (the top, visible part) can have a shiny (or "waxy") appearance in the summer season.


Pictures of Poison Ivy Leaves (In The Fall Season) and Poison Ivy Berries


Here is a photo of poison ivy changing colours in the fall - CIPS
Poison Ivy Leaves Changing Colours From Green To Orange-Red in the Fall

Poison ivy in the autumn changing colours - CIPS
Changing Colours of Poison Ivy in the Fall Season


Red colour of the poison ivy leaf in autumn
Edges of Poison Ivy Leaves are Smooth (Not Rough of Jagged)

Here is what poison ivy berries look like in the fall (Autumn) - CIPS
White or Waxy (Colour) Poison Ivy Berries in Autumn

Changing colours of the poison ivy berry in the fall
Poison Ivy Berries Starting To Change Colours from Green to White in Autumn

This is the poison ivy plant in the fall changing colours
Poison Ivy Leaves Starting To Change Colours at the Start of the Fall Season

The unmistakable leaves of the poison ivy plant - CIPS
How To Identify the Poison Ivy Plant

Poison ivy has many faces but the general rule is this: "Leaflets in three let it be"

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