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.
Botanical Characteristics:

More information and pictures:

Last year's berries along with this year's newly emerging leaves of poison ivy.
Last year's berries along with this year's newly emerging leaves of poison ivy. One of the dangers in winter is not recognizing this as poison ivy when only the stems and berries are present. Photographed along the Sulphur Canyon/Faulty Trail/Bill Spring Trail May 15th, 2003.

Where we have seen this plant:


  SubkingdomTracheobionta---Vascular plants
    SuperdivisionSpermatophyta---Seed plants
      DivisionMagnoliophyta---Flowering plants
              FamilyAnacardiaceae---Sumac family
                GenusToxicodendron P. Mill.---poison oak
                  SpeciesToxicodendron rydbergii (Small ex Rydb.) Greene--western poison ivy



Cited references:

Carter, Jack L. 1997. Trees and Shrubs of New Mexico. Boulder, CO: Johnson Books, Distributor
Foxx, Teralene S. and Dorothy Hoard. 1984. Flowers of the Southwestern Forests and Woodlands. Los Alamos: Los Alamos Historical Society. Amazon carries an edition whose publisher is listed as University of New Mexico Press

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