Wildflowers: Plant looks like poison ivy

Discussion in 'Plants: Identification' started by Jon45150, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. Jon45150

    Jon45150 Active Member

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    We were walking along a path in a park when I spotted this plant. At first I thought it was poison ivy, until I noticed the catkins.

    Anyone know what this is? It was growing in full sun in southern Ohio.
     

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  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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  3. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Are those flowers from the same plant? Those skinny leaves look so different from the rest of the plant (do they start that way and then develop into a compound leaf??), and the flowers don't seem to be arranged the same as in other photos of Rhus, though the leaf photos look just like it. I haven't found any photos of female flowers. Are they that different, with different leaves around them?
     
  4. Jon45150

    Jon45150 Active Member

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    Thank you! No wonder it looked like poison ivy!
     
  5. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    You're supposed to tell the difference by looking at the middle leaf - no petiole = rhus aromatica; distinct petiole = those poison things (ivy, oak, sumac).

    I'm reading names:
    Toxicodendron diversilobum Pacific poison oak; poison oak
    Toxicodendron radicans, commonly known as poison ivy (older synonyms are Rhus toxicodendron and Rhus radicans)

    Have those Rhus become Toxicodendron, but not Rhus aromatica?
     
  6. Jon45150

    Jon45150 Active Member

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    I thought it was strange too, I almost did not include that last photo but I have seen plenty of other plants with leaves that vary on the plant. Further back on the vine the leaves were more similar to the other photos. Are those flowers or undeveloped catkins?
     
  7. Andrey Zharkikh

    Andrey Zharkikh Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    The site suggested by Daniel describes the catkins as the next-year inflorescences.
     
  8. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Those things in your second photo are the catkins, full-size from what I've read. They're so pretty. That's a nice photo too.

    I guess we'll have to wait till next March to see what the female flowers look like. We've just posted photos of the fruits on the ones at UBC BG. I'm sure Nadia will put this on her list for us to look for the flowers next spring.
    The thing is, what we photographed, and the plant at Daniel's link, are not vines, they're bushy shrubs. The thing with the flowers does look like a vine, but the parts with the 3-part leaves don't look like a vine. Are you sure the vine-y bits aren't something different?
     
  9. Jon45150

    Jon45150 Active Member

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    Well, no I am not. I thought the entire mass was a low clump of vines. There are dozens of various wild plants concentrated in this area, many I did not know. I thought this was from the same plant but of course I am likely wrong.

    I doubt we will ever go back to this nature preserve again. It has a very narrow 2+ mile path that loops through the woods. The place is infested with poison ivy along most of the path, so walking through the woods was more of a chore. I think we spent more time looking down at our feet dodging poison ivy than enjoying the walk.

    I am not allergic to poison ivy (yet) but try to avoid it (why tempt fate?). If we do go back I will take another look at this (bzw. these) plant(s). It is at the sunny beginning of the trail before descending into the depths of poison ivy hell.

    As always thank you everyone for your help and input.
     

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