Noxious Weeds Profile - Poison Ivy

Table of Contents
  1. Names
  2. Photos
  3. Current Status
  4. Poisonous/Cautions
  5. Distribution
  6. Growth Habit
  7. Method of Propagation
  8. Control
  9. Related Links


  • English - poison ivy
  • French - herbe à puce
  • Latin - Toxicodendron radicans L.; synonym Rhus radicans L.
Poison Ivy
Poison Ivy

Current Status

  • Ontario Weeds Act - noxious
  • Other provinces - noxious in Man, Quebec
  • Canadian Federal Seeds Act - no
  • U.S. Federal Noxious Weed - no
  • U.S. Noxious State Reg - 1 state (Minnesota)


  • Pub 505 - All parts of the plant contain a poisonous substance (urushiol) which causes an irritating inflamation of the skin, frequently developing blisters. About 50-60% of people are allergic to this substance.
  • NE Weeds - causes allergenic dermatitis. About 50-60% of people are allergic to this substance.
  • Canadian Poison Plant - Urushiol is the allergenic agent found in most parts of the plant. Damage to plant tissues causes the nonvolatile chemicals to be exposed. Humans are often sensitized, with symptoms ranging from mild itchiness and redness to severe oozing lesions with fever. Poison ivy is probably responsible for more cases of plant dermatitis in Canada than any other plant. Urushiol can contaminate clothes, tools, and the fur of domestic animals. Humans can subsequently develop dermatitis from contact. Humans do not contract the dermatitis on first contact, but most people are sensitized the first time (Mulligan 1990, Schwartz and Downham 1981, Gayer and Burnett 1988).
  • Cornell Poison Plant - no text


  • Roadsides, woodlots, right of ways, non-cultivated areas

Growth Habit

  • Perennial

Method of Propagation

  • Seeds


  • Controlled by Roundup or 2,4-D type herbicides. Listed on Roundup label and several other "poison ivy killer" products. It easily regenerates after cutting. Easily controlled by repeated cultivation.

Related Links

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