Poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac
Karlik, John F. University of California Cooperative Extension, Bakersfield, California.
Last reviewed:May 2020
Show previous versions
- Poison ivy, published January 2014:Download PDF Get Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Poison sumac, published January 2014:Download PDF Get Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Plant nomenclature and distribution
- Plant appearance
- Toxic principle
- Dermatitis from urushiol
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Commonly encountered plants that produce an oil called urushiol, which triggers allergic contact dermatitis in humans. Poison ivy (Fig. 1), poison oak (Fig. 2), and poison sumac (Fig. 3) are the best-known poisonous plants in North America, blamed for triggering approximately 350,000 cases of dermatitis in the United States annually. See also: Allergy; Poisonous plants
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