Poison Oak Explosion in California

Poison Oak in California

The CBS station in San Francisco reports that the heavy rains have produced an explosion of poison oak; certainly a less welcome result than the wildflower superblooms in the deserts. 

Poison oak is pretty well adapted to the dry climate of California, often growing in the shade of trees or by creeks. But it is just as happy to get plenty of rain as other plants, and will grow happily.

Last time I was wandering in a park in California where there was a great deal of poison oak growing, I asked various people if they knew "What is this plant?." Almost nobody knew, which surprised me.

Now the poison oak that lurks along trails and at the edges of golf courses and parks will be growing with vigor, and more people will come into contact with it.

I would expect some busy days at California dermatology and allergy doctor's office. (Poison ivy shows up as a nasty rash on the skin, so it is most often treated by dermatologists, but the actual rash is an allergic reaction, so allergists also get into the picture at time.)