Poison Oak: Toxicodendron

Species in this genus:

Western poison ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii)

Certainly the bane of my existence when I was growing up in West Virginia, this obnoxious plant, commonly called poison ivy and scientifically named, Toxicodendron rydbergii, is encountered occasionally in New Mexico, mainly along streams or in shelter caves. Carter (1997) notes that "coming in contact with any part of the plant, including the wind blown pollen is all that is required for sensitive individuals to be affected." Two colleagues recently had a tremendous allergic reaction to poison ivy while doing fieldwork in the Gila. On a positive note, according to Foxx and Hoard (1984), 75 species of birds the poison ivy berries. Here you see newly emerging leaves (note the shininess of the leaves) and the beginnings berry clusters. Photographed on 2 April 2006 at Oliver Lee State Park on the riparian walk.

<em>Toxicodendron rydbergii</em> newly emerging leaves and the beginnings berry clusters.

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