Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans)

This plant is very common in sunny, open areas. It can be found growing along the ground as a trailing vine or climbing on other vegetation. It can also grow in the form of an erect shrub,

The leaves of the plant help in its identification. Each leaf is divided into 3 leaflets. The outer leaflets are on short stalks and often have a thumb-like lobe. The central leaflet is on a longer stalk and is generally the same on both sides (with or without the thumb-like process). Early in the fall, the leaves turn red.

Hairs on the leaves contain urushiol, which can cause a severe rash in sensitive individuals. Repeated exposure can lead to sensitization.

Since the plant can spread along the ground, dense patches can form. Note the variability in the leaves.

Use care when exploring the pine plantation. Wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. If you come into contact with the poison ive, make sure you wash the area well with strong soap.

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