September Poison Ivy Quiz

Photo#1: Is this poison ivy? (photo by Kate St. John)

On a walk last week I encountered two plants with poison ivy’s telltale three-leaf arrangement including a long stem on the middle leaf. One was poison ivy, the other was not.

Here they are, shown at top and below. Which one is poison ivy?

Photo#2: Is this poison ivy? (photo by Kate St. John)

Here’s another clue in two more photos — leaves and fruit. One is poison ivy, one is not.

Photo#3: Is this poison ivy? (photo by Kate St. John)
Photo#4: One of the plants has samaras (photo by Kate St. John)

Poison ivy bears fruit in berries that turn white in the fall. The mystery look-alike plant bears fruit as samaras.

Quiz! For each of the four photos tell me if it’s poison ivy. (Use photo# in the caption.)

Bonus: What’s the name of the not-poison-ivy plant?

(photos by Kate St. John)

10 thoughts on “September Poison Ivy Quiz

  1. I find a lot of people cannot identify the hairy vine of PI that is on trees. They only learned about the ‘leaves of three’s. I often post photos of that as well

  2. Yesterday late morning there was a fallout of birds into my garden near CMU. They were continuously flying around in my huge oaks and at my pond with fountains.
    These were the following birds that came into my garden simultaneously: Swainsons thrush, blue headed vireo, yellow shafted northern flicker, 12 house finches some house sparrows 4 goldfinches 2 cardinals 10 robins one hummer. Just before this a carolina wren and just after a bluejay and some mourning doves. A very exciting hour. The day before I had an Eastern Kingbird at the pond and just before dark last night a chimney swift and an unidentifiable fly catcher catching large insects from a snag atop a tree across the street. No nighthawks. Thanks for all your wonderful reporting and especially about the migration radar!

  3. Thank you, everyone! All answers are correct and yes, the not-poison-ivy is box elder.
    The poison ivy appears to be plagued by some disease/insect.

  4. Thank you for the new word as well – samara, how lovely! As it happens I photographed some maple samaras this morning on my walk without even knowing they had a specialized name.

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