Leaves of three — oh dear me!

poison ivy

It will soon be summertime, and our summer interns will hit the woods, surveying sample plots and gathering data. Lesson number one: know what poison ivy looks like, avoid it if possible, and wash off well when you come in from the field. Poison ivy, Toxicodendron radicans, does have three leaflets per leaf. It commonly runs along the ground, and when it hits a tree, it climbs. Poison ivy, like English ivy, uses adventitious roots to cling to tree trunks to climb.

CA creeper

Look-alike Virginia creeper, Parthenocissus quinquefolia, which has five leaflets per leaf, has no such roots along the vine. And neither do our woodland grapes — notice the dark brown grapevine in the photo with the Virginia creeper.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: