About seven to nine species of Toxicodendron are native to Asia
and North America. They are shrubs, vines and
small trees that contain the skin irritant, urushiol. They are very closely
related to sumacs (genus Rhus.)
Poison ivy is found naturally across much of North America,
and parts of Asia. Some scientists split the
American and Asian plants into separate species. Poison ivy is a woody vine or
small shrub with leaves consisting of three leaflets. A poison ivy rash usually
results from brushing against the leaves but may be caused by smoke from a
burning stem. Small white berries in late summer and fall are eaten by birds.
Light: sun, part shade, shade
Water: moist soil, well-drained soil, drought tolerant
Soil: adaptable to soil types, no other special requirements
Because it causes dermatitis in many people, this native
plant is rarely cultivated.