An invasive, low growing woody plant that is very toxic to the touch. All parts of this plant are poisonous.
Cold hardy to at least #4
full to shade, seems to prefer edges of woods in the semi-shade
Soil & Site
small, 1/8" green flowers grow from branching clusters in the axils
white waxy berries, ate by birds
A compound leaf with 3 leaflets the center one being the largest. The leaf edges are entire or a few coarse teeth. Leaves alternate on the stem. They emerge in the spring with a bronze sheen; fall color is red to deep burgundy red depending on the amount of sun.
low less than a foot
Difficult to remove once established.
Who wants to??????? Reported to have been imported to places in Europe and used as a ground cover plant for erosion control.
This plant is listed in many sources as Rhus radicans, a catch all term for many types of look-alike poisonous plants.
One day I was working in a new clients garden, I was on my hands and knees, working backwards pulling weeds. An than I noticed "what the #!#*" I was kneeling in Poison Ivy. Needless to say I got a bad case of redness, blisters and itching on my arms. Last year (2012) I bought a pair of long rubber gloves and carefully pulled out the plants and double bagged them. Some of the runners were 10-15 feet long. Gloves were also disposed. The worst thing about this experience is I didn't take any pictures. I missed a great photo opt.
Notes & Reference
The reaction from poison ivy is produced by an oil called Urushiol. It can remain on clothes and spread by touch.