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Walk The Trail: Quincy Salt Marsh TrailStop 25

Poison Ivy - Toxicodendron radicans

Warning! Do Not Touch!

Poison Ivy can grow as a large shrub, a vine that climbs up trees or one that trails along the ground. It can be recognized by it leaves, which are each made up of three leaflets, which is where the phrase "Leaves of three, let it be!" comes from. In the spring, Poison Ivy has shiny, greenish-red leaves, and it is this stage that is most dangerous to those who are allergic to the plant. The leaves dull and become green as they mature, and in fall, they change to brilliant reds and oranges. Flowers appear from May through June and again in August, followed by clusters of bright, waxy white berries. Although all parts of the plant emit a poisonous, skin-irritating oil, birds and other animals do eat the fruits, making this species valuable winter fare for wildlife. Poison Ivy thrives here in the salt marsh, so be careful!


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