Poison Ivy

poison ivy

The old saying "leaves of three, let it be" is a reminder of poison ivy's consistent leaf characteristic. Leaf forms are variable, but the leaves always consist of three leaflets.

Florida's temperate seasons mean lots of time to spend outdoors in yards and gardens. Unfortunately, that can often mean an encounter with poison ivy.

Poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) is a vine that grows in yards, along fences, and around trees, and has three leaflets that are usually slightly serrated.

Contact with the oils found in poison ivy can cause painful, itchy blisters. You can encounter the oils by touching any part of the plant, or by touching animals or clothes that have come in contact with it. The telltale signs typically appear 24 to 72 hours after contact.

Remove poison ivy from the landscape only when wearing gloves, which should immediately be washed separate from the other laundry. Finally, don't burn the plant, because even the smoke can carry toxins.

UF/IFAS Publications