Poison Ivy Quiz

poison ivy quizEach photo has two or three buttons under it. Look at the photo and read the questions, then click any yellow button to see the photo with added explanation, then click back to the plain photo if you like. This "quiz" doesn't keep score; it is just here to provide education. We all get judged enough every day. This quiz only covers eastern poison ivy, which is the biggest culprit, but we may add a Pacific poison oak quiz next.

By the way, we are wondering how this feature is working. Does this "Quiz" make sense to you? Does it work? Do you learn from it? How can we make it better? Let us know.

 

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Which plant is poison ivy, and how do you know which plant is poison ivy?

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Two reasons this is NOT poison ivy: thorns and saw-toothed edges.

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This is classic poison ivy, same size as blackberry leaves, to the left, but a whole other plant!

poison ivy versus virginia creeper

Which plant is poison ivy, and how do you know?

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Virginia creeper has five leaves in a group, and the leaf edges are saw-toothed. 

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This it the poison ivy, with the "leaves of three". It has notches on the leaves, but not saw-teeth.

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There are three kinds of ivy here! Which is which?

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English ivy doesn't have "leaves of three". Boston ivy has young "leaves of three"; later has single maple-shaped leaves.

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The poison ivy looks pretty different, once you get use to seeing it. But they can all grow mixed up. together.

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Both have "leaves of three", or do they?

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Nope, this is not poison ivy because it has an extra pair of leaves below the three.

AND it has saw-tooth edges.

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This it the class poison ivy, same size as blackberry leaves, to the left, but a whole other plant!

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Red leaves in the spring. What do we have here?

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This is an oak with spring leaves coming out various sprouts.

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But this oak tree has a poison ivy vine climbing up. Note the thick main vine, with hairy roots, and the thin side vine without.

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Two vines with berries. What have we got here?

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In late summer Virignia creeper leaves turning red, berries are blue, with red stems.

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Poison ivy has a mix of still-green and reddish leaves. The smaller berries are white at this time of year.

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It has "leaves of three". So it it poison ivy?

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Sometimes young Virginia creeper only has three leaves, but has points on leaf edges unlike poison ivy.

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What is going on here?

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Those very square edged shove-shaped leaves are not poison ivy: it doesn't have "leaves of three".

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Note how the poison ivy leaves never have that square back.

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What do we have here?

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The big plant is a lovely jack-in-the-pulpit, with actual pulpit.

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Poison ivy as a forest-floor plant tends to have smaller leaves than the jack-in-the-pulpit.

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Which plant is poison ivy, and how do you know?

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These are the leaves of a birch tree; note the distint saw-tooth leaf edges.

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This is the poison ivy.

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Three vines here. Which is which?

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Creeper is easy to spot: 5 leaves. Hog peanut has "leaves of three", but see how thin it is.

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When you look at this poison ivy and then at the hog peanut, you should see the difference. 

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Two forest floor plants. Who is who?

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Extra pairs of leaves below the "leaves of three", and a four-stem symmetry unlike poison ivy.

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The poison ivy does not have the symmetry of the other plant. But note how two poison ivy leaves look different.

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Is this poison ivy?

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No: the "stipules" never occur there on poison ivy; a light-dark pattern would be VERY odd on poison ivy.