Poison Oak vs. Poison Ivy


Is it poison oak or is it poison ivy? Most people watch out for "leaves of three" but don't really know the difference. They do have in common the same rash-causing resin, called urushiol. Urushiol is found in all parts of the plants, even if the plant has died. Any interaction with the plant may cause your body to come in contact with urushiol.

So what is the difference between the two?

Poison Ivy
poison ivy
Poison Oak
poison oak

Grows throughout North America and Canada.

Grows throughout the USA.

Does NOT grow in Oregon, Alaska, Hawaii, or California.

Grows in Washington, Oregon, California and the Atlantic Coast.

Can be a shrub, ground cover or climbing vine.

Can be a dense shrub or climbing vine.

Almond shaped leaflets range from light green to bright red in the fall.

Leaflets are scalloped like a true oak. Color can be bronze, green or red.

Produce berries greyish-white in color.

Produce greenish-white or tan berries.