There are many common plants that people confuse with poison ivy and poison oak. The most common in Oklahoma are Virginia creeper, fragrant sumac, skunk sumac and boxelder maple. Elderberry (Acer negundo) seedlings and young plants are often confused with poison ivy and tend to grow in the same places you'll find poison ivy along the fence, behind the garage, and other places where you might not grow much. The differences? Elderberry stems are not red and often have a grayish “bloom”.
And the stems of elderberry leaves are directly opposite each other on the main stem, rather than alternating, like poison ivy leaves. Boxelder (Acer negundo) is a type of maple native to the United States. Although these trees can grow to impressive heights, without resembling ivy at all, it is in their early stages of growth that many confuse the leaves of this plant with its problematic appearance. Maple leaves have a similar pointed shape, with the same distinctive veins and serrated edges.
However, the key to differentiating these two plants lies in the positions of the leaves. While poison ivy leaves alternate, maple leaves are positioned opposite each other along the stem. Stem colors can also be an indicator: Maple stems tend to have a bluish tint, rather than red. Older maple plants are much easier to separate from poison ivy, as the stems develop more leaflets from the three standard groups.
The tree trunk also becomes more pronounced, eliminating any suspicion that it may be entangling poison ivy. Boxelders are not dangerous to humans and make wonderful carefree trees in American gardens. They are incredibly adaptable, grow in a wide range of conditions between USDA zones 2 and 9, and thrive with little maintenance. Most gardeners, or food lovers, will be familiar with the delicious blackberry (Rubus spp.
Growing in a dense shrub, these plants are popular in gardens as an easy-to-grow edible plant or as an edible ground cover in food landscaping. Unfortunately, people confuse tasty plants with poison ivy because their leaves have similar shapes. However, looking beyond the shapes of the leaves, blackberries are quite easy to identify. Take a look at the stems first: if you see thorns, you're in the clearing.
Most blackberry varieties have thorny stems (ideal for use as a safety cover). However, there are also thornless blackberries that make differentiating the two more difficult. If that's the case, take a closer look at the sheets. Blackberry leaflets may come in groups of three, but more often they are grouped into four or five, whereas ivy will always have three leaflets.
If plants produce fruit, they are much easier to differentiate. Poison ivy berries are small and light in color, while blackberries are large and (clear from the name), black in color. If you discover a healthy blackberry vine on or near your property, let it grow and they will provide you with a bountiful harvest in the fall. Another wrongly named member of the berry family is the humble raspberry.
Wild raspberries are common in the United States. People often find this plant in the same areas as ivy, possibly even side by side. This, coupled with their similar leaf sizes and shapes, often causes confusion between the two. Turn the leaves upside down and you may also notice a distinctive color difference.
Raspberry leaves have a lighter shade, which turns bright green into a grayish color. If the plants produce fruit, you will instantly distinguish them by the shape and color of the berries. Raspberries start with a similar light color, but ripen to a more intense red. Because of its ubiquity, poison ivy is more commonly confused with the Virginia creeper.
This vine plant grows incredibly fast in a wide range of conditions, often tied to arches or trained to grow on garden walls. Color-changing leaves look impressive in autumn, creating a bathroom of warm red tones. Virginia vine leaflets connect directly to the central branch, while poison ivy leaflets have their own smaller stems. The vines of the vine also have a more woody texture, although it may be more difficult to distinguish this way, since the vines of some varieties of ivy could also be described as woody.
Virginia climbing berries, which differ from greenish-white, are deep blue. One thing connects these two plants: berries are not edible. When ingested, Virginia vine berries can cause stomach irritation and upset. Pig peanuts are another plant that usually grows close to poison ivy.
This can make them very difficult to differentiate, but there are some subtle distinctions between these two plants. The three leaflets are consistent in both, but the stems on which the leaves appear are slightly different. Pig peanut stems are much thinner than poison ivy, with a. Looking closely at the leaves, you will notice more pronounced vines in poison ivy, but this is much easier to distinguish when the leaves are side by side.
Pig peanut leaves are rounder at the base compared to narrower ivy leaves. They have been described as egg-shaped, but they also retain the classic pointed tips of poison ivy. Pork peanut leaves are slightly fluffy to the touch (but it's clearly not recommended to touch them to test them). Another vine that is often confused with poison ivy, and that shares a common name, is Boston ivy.
Known as Parthenocissus tricuspidata, this woody plant is native to East Asia and is related to the Virginia creeper. Because of this relationship, it's easy to see why these two plants, or all three, are commonly confused. Boston ivy is an incredibly popular garden plant, often found climbing walls in formal gardens. But people and animals should be careful and stay away, as it is toxic when ingested.
Some people are also sensitive to this plant and may develop a rash when touched, so it's best to handle it with caution. Less common than Boston ivy is Jack in the pulpit, known as Arisaema triphyllum. This interesting plant has unique flowers and berries that look nothing like ivy. However, when the plant is in the early stages of growth, the leaves look slightly similar, causing occasional confusion.
The leaves of this plant are always smooth, never toothed. The cat in the pulpit leaves the stems tall and upright and do not alternate along a vine. The leaves are also larger and wider than most poison ivy varieties, especially at maturity. If that's not enough to convince you, take a look at the central vein of the leaves.
If it goes all the way, you have poison ivy. But, if you don't touch the edge, it's probably a cat in the pulpit. Gardeners will be familiar with the common garden strawberry, an edible plant loved by gardening beginners. It is unlikely that you will encounter this species when you walk in the woods.
However, you may encounter wild strawberries, which look quite similar to poison ivy. The textures of the leaves of wild strawberries combine with ivy and have the same vein pattern. They also come in groups of three brochures. However, the edges of these leaflets are much more irregular than poison ivy.
Where they differ a lot is in the tips of the leaves. While other poison ivy have a pointed tip, strawberry leaves are more rounded. This differentiation instantly indicates that the plant should not be feared. The simulated strawberry (Duchesnea Indica) is similar to the wild strawberry, but the leaves have a yellow tint.
The fruits of the simulated strawberry are not as tasty as their namesakes. If you encounter this plant there is no danger, but it is best to remove it from the gardens if you find one on your property, since it is an invasive species. The key distinguishing feature is the groupings of brochures. Like the Virginia creeper, bush killing vine leaflets come in five, with the central leaflet much longer than the other four.
The two additional leaflets are also smaller and rounder than the other three. Fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica) is often confused with poison oak, and both grow in similar habitats. One difference is that the leaflets of fragrant sumac are attached at a single point, whereas the terminal leaflet of poison oak has a short stem. In addition, the fruit of the fragrant sumac plant is red (figure.
Poison oak, poison sumac, and mango fruit bark cause a similar rash. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising Revenue Supports Our Nonprofit Mission. Another vine that is sometimes confused with poison ivy is Peppervine.
This can be a bit tricky if you're not familiar with poison ivy and there's no fruit present. Like poison ivy and Virginia creeper, pepper vines have compound leaves, but instead of having only three or five leaflets per leaf, it has what are called bipinnate or tripinnate composite leaves. In other words, it has multiple groups of leaflets (not just multiple leaflets) attached to a central rib (rachis). Talk to your doctor if you have a severe poison ivy rash or if the rash affects your face or genital area.
Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) and poison ivy often grow together and are often confused with each other. Poison ivy leaves are alternately arranged along the vine and elderberry leaves have an opposite arrangement. The leaves of the simulated strawberry are much more yellow than poison ivy and connect to the stem at a central point. Pig peanut stems are very thin and fragile compared to poison ivy and the leaves have fewer veins.
This is because leaves come in compound and simple forms, whereas poison ivy leaves are always composite. Knowing the difference between poison ivy and other harmless plants can save you a significant headache (and possibly a nasty rash), whether on a foraging expedition or in your own backyard. The faster you rinse your skin with cold water, the less likely you are to be affected by poison ivy. Starting with the most obvious characteristic: poison ivy has three leaflets that alternate along the stem.
It's good advice that poison ivy doesn't stand out from the crowd, but it always has three leaflets on each leaf. A young poison ivy plant is almost always reddish in color, while a young maple is usually light yellow to green. The leaflets also have a rougher texture compared to smooth poison ivy leaves, with very clear and deep veins. .