help ID these weeds...are any of them poison ivy/oak/sumac?

huangoMay 15, 2008


I really appreciate your help in identifying these weeds. Are any of them (all?) poison ivy/oak/sumac, because both my arms are covered w/ rashes?

We moved in last April and were still learning about what we have in the yard.

Thank you so much for all your help.

This website taught me about wild violets and dead nettles; I love how everyone is so helpful.

I KNOW there are poison ivy climbing up a tree in my driveway entrance, so I do know what the 'normal' poison ivy looks like. I did not touch this PI.

This one is all over the left side of my front yard, and everywhere else:

I think this one looks like poison ivy, but there are thorns on the branches and I read that PI doesnÂt have thorns.

Same thing (different branch/different location)?

What are these? Will they bloom to flowers? They fill half of my flower bed.

These have to be poison ivy next to the wild violets, yes?

TheyÂre all starting to look the same.

I have tons of oak and maple trees around my house. How can I tell if theyÂre tiny oak/maple saplings growing (from all the acorns/seeds that fell everywhere) or tiny PI growing?

IÂm sorry for so many pictures.

These are right around the water bucket that my toddlers play with. I want to confirm that they are PI before I go nuts killing them w/ chemicals.

Last ones, I promise.

Are most of these harmless or am I seriously surrounded by poison ivy/oak/sumac?

I have 2 toddlers and a dog who goes exploring everywhere/everything. And I do all the gardening.

Right now, IÂm using the 2nd box of Zanfel ($40 for 1 oz) and IÂm beyond paranoid about PI.

Thank you so much for all your help.

This website taught me about wild violets and dead nettles; I love how everyone is so helpful.

Again thank you very much.


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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

The only poison ivy I see is in the first image. I don't see any poison oak or sumac, either.

That plant that is taking over your flower bed is Lily of the Vally. Those little bell shaped flowers smell heavenly, but the plants can be pretty invasive.

Does anyone else see any poisonous plants?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 3:29PM
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If the leaves are hairy and there are thorns and three leaves it's a bramble of some kind, probably wild raspberry/wineberry. Super, super invasive, I even have some growing under my deck and there's no access unless we remove the side lattice.

As far as telling whether they are maple or oak seedlings, wait until there is a recognizable leaf. Oaks and maples have two leaves to start with. PI usually has three, but sometimes you only see two because of insects or accidentally getting ripped off. PI is shiny, especially when young, and the leaves are red when seedlings. What I would do is take pictures of known PI this year and keep them handy for reference.

The second to last one doesn't look like PI, it looks like a hickory sapling maybe, hard to tell though.

Another possible way to identify is if you look at your first picture of known PI. The leaves have a little lobe on them, almost like a stumpy thumb. PI usually has that, but not always.

I'm linking a PI website and here's a wineberry/wild raspberry website--I don't know how to add another URL.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 5:44PM
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rhizo_1 and pieheart: thank you very much for your inputs. the rest do not look like poison ivy/oak/ how did I get the rashes on my arms????
Now I'm wondering if the rashes are PI rash at all, since they're still itchy even though I've applied 3 rounds of Zanfel. We've used Zanfel before and both times, it only required 1 treatment and then no more itching.

So can other plants result in rashes?

I haven't done much in my yard, just raking leaves/grass, weeding dandelions, edging, and applying wood chips/mulch. It's not like I'm in the thick of it clearing things out or stirring things up.

Lily of the Valley: so that's what they are. Thank you. I was set on pulling them out because I didn't have a clue what they may be.
(half the time I think a plant is a weed and end up pulling it out...)

Thanks for the links. Hmmm...maybe we can eat these berries?
Besided being concerned about tiny oak seedlings being PI, I want to pull them when they haven't really taken root yet if they are not PI. I have too many oak/maple trees and don't need anymore, especially growing from my flower beds.

So would you know what the weed in the 2nd picture is? It's all over the place.

Again, thank you very much.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 5:58PM
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Sorry, I don't know what the weed is in the second picture. I have it all over too.

As far as your rash goes, do you have gypsy moths where you live? There have been articles here that the gypsy moth larvae hairs can cause a rash. I never knew that, and never had a problem myself, but I have a few gardening friends who have "mystery rashes".

I'm linking one article that discusses the rash.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 10:53PM
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You probably have microscopic scratches that you have made worse by scratching. Get a bottle of Benedryl spray and spray the itching area after you wash the area.

I find that a bottle of cheap facial toner on a cotton ball or cosmetic pad lightly rubbed over the area. Many of the gardening itches I receive eases the itch and I don't need the spray.

You may want to take a trip to the library and look at pictures of plants. Picture two has columbine and the plant you thought was PI will send up a flowering stalk. It is pretty, don't know the name, but will spread from both seeds and underground runners.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 10:38PM
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well_drained(z6a MA)

#2 could be a native aster, maybe blue wood aster, which pops up everywhere in my section of eastern Mass.

The very last pic looks a lot like Geranium maculatum - wild geranium.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2008 at 2:05PM
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definitely poison ivy on the tree. Tip. Never burn the stuff. The thorny branch is blackberry or wild rose. The branch produces berries during second year. Very edible if you can put up with the thorns.

The ones near the water bucket look like strawberry to me but the size is wrong.

Second to last picture, I see two goldenrod plants. And maybe young beauty berry? No flowers though so maybe not.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 8:59PM
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dbs_illinois_4(z4b Illinois)

I agree with well_drained on the second one--looks a lot like one of my spreading woodland asters (though mine is a different species). I think the last one, unfortunately, is Motherwort. If so, it will be shooting up its flowering stalk soon and you will know for sure. Does it have a stiff, squarish stem? Make sure to get rid of them before going to seed!

You might also be getting PI rash from the dogs fur. Make sure you educate your kids well on PI. When I was a kid I got into it so bad once that I was bed-ridden for a while and missed my summer vacation. I woke up one morning with my eyes swollen comletely shut and thought I was blind. Not a pleasant experience! Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 9:14AM
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livingfossil(6a Dayton OH)

Sometimes I can't distinguish Stinging Nettle from some Brambles. I went to yank what I thought was a Bramble...ouch

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 3:40PM
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The last one is indeed Motherwort. :) Tremendously medicinal, but it grows everywhere anyway. It does spread a lot and when it flowers the tips are very prickly.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2008 at 11:43PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

When I get poison ivy, I don't get over it for a month. If it is really bad prednisone will stop it, but that takes a prescription. Trumpet vine will make some people (me) get a rash- not uncommon.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 10:22PM
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what exactly is the plant in between the hickory-sapling-like plants?

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 10:16AM
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