Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, and Virginia Creeper


There is always some mistaken identity about these 3 and sometimes Poison Ivy will mix in with the Creeper. Many people identify Poison ivy and oak as the same thing and interchangeable but there are differences. I have had to deal with being allergic for over 40 years with my first bout when I was about 8 with Poison Sumac (which is entirely different and it is more of an actual bush). I have recently had the opportunity to take these pictures (of course I am fighting my 3 round with it this year) because I find there are so many people who do not know what they look like.
Poison Oak can climb or stay on the ground to blend in with baby Oak trees. The stems most often are woodier than ivy stems/shoots.
Poison Oak can climb or stay on the ground to blend in with baby Oak trees. The stems most often are woodier than ivy stems/shoots.
Notice the leaves are darker green and more serrated.
Notice the leaves are darker green and more serrated.
Poison Ivy has smaller leaves and leaves are not as serrated.
Poison Ivy has smaller leaves and leaves are not as serrated.
Notice it looks like Virginia Creeper because there are 5 leaves HOLD ON because the 3 leaves continue on after that!
Notice it looks like Virginia Creeper because there are 5 leaves HOLD ON because the 3 leaves continue on after that!

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3 of 19 comments
  • Cyndi Neumann
    on Apr 26, 2014

    Virginia creeper has five leaves and I have it all over my yard, it loves to climb trees and is a spreader. I wonder if poison ivy has red veins on the stems, I have something that looks just like it but it has red stems which I think is not poison ivy, but I am removing ot anyway, CAREFULLY! I will post a photo of it when i get back to the yard!

  • Lisa House
    on Oct 6, 2015

    Wash with Zanfel before and after yard work to prevent poison ivy. It is a bit expensive but you really use such a very small amount. The oil that causes the reaction is the same regardless of the plant, the oil is active year round and can be found in the soil when you don't see the plant.

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