Skip to Main Content
Plants of the UNF Campus

Toxicodendron radicans (syn. Rhus radicans) - Poison ivy, Poison oak
Family Anacardiaceae


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, including Jacksonville, 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.


See plants in moist woodlands around campus.


Woody vine capable of growing high into trees.

Care Instructions:

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.