Are There Different Types of Poison Ivy?

Are There Different Types of Poison Ivy?

Indeed there are two types of poison ivy. The first of the types of poison ivy is the climbing ivy which is called Toxicodendron radicans while the dwarf non climbing shrub is the Toxicodendron rydbergii.

The two types of poison ivy

Toxicodendron rydbergii, one of the types of poison ivy, comes from the Latin word toxicum which means “poison” and the Greek dendron meaning “tree” hence, “poison tree”. Rydbergii is from the Latin “Rydberg’s” which is named after Per Axel Rydberg, the expert in Western flora. There are a lot of common names for Toxicondendron rydbergii. They include: Ryberg’s poison ivy, Western poison ivy, Rhus radicans var. rydbergii, Rhus radicans var. vulgaris, Rhus rydbergii, Rhus Toxicodendron var. rydbergii and, non-climbing poison ivy.

It is under the kingdom plantae, which are the plants. It belongs to the division Magnoliophyta and is under the Anacardiaceae family, together with the cashews, mangoes, and pistachios. Toxicodendron rydbergii is a native rhizomatous shrub. It grows less than three inches tall. But if this plant grows in a favorable condition, it may grow up to ten inches tall and higher. This plant does not climb, unlike the Toxicodendron radicans (Eastern Poison Ivy) which has aerial roots that enables it to climb as high as it could.

Its stems appear woody or sparsely branched. Its leaves have long stalks and have a trifoliate pattern. The leaflets are coarse-toothed. Toxicodendron rydbergii can be found in British Columbia to Nova Scotia, Central Washington and Oregon to New England, Illinois, Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, Mexico and Arizona. It is considered a weed which usually thrives on lakeshores, sand dunes, floodplains, and railroads. It favors areas with moderate sunlight such as in creek banks, ravines and river terraces. It survives in a variety of soil types. This plant reproduces sexually and vegetatively just like Toxicodendron radicans.

Toxicodendron radicans, another of the types on poison ivy, on the other hand is a climbing vine. It uses its aerial roots to attach itself to the side of the trees and from there could grow as high as it could. It is commonly found in the eastern and central United States, growing plentifully especially in North America. It can also be found in Southern Canada, the West Indies and in China. It characterized by its trifoliate pattern, similar to Toxicodendron rydbergii but its leaflets are not consistent. Some have tooth while others do not. Its leaves change its color also depending on the season.

During early spring its color is red and then turns into a shiny green later in spring. In autumn, its color is red or orange. During late spring the flowers appear on the leaf axils. In late summer through late fall, the fruits ripen and the leaves turn into a bright red color, giving the birds a cue that they may feed on the fruit already. Once the temperature drops below the freezing point, the leaves fall, leaving only the fruit through winter.

These are the types of poison ivy.