Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:22 am
Location: Northern Virginia

Is this poison sumac??

There is an area in my garden where I always end up with a poison Ivy like rash.
I know what poison ivy looks like and I don't have it there, but I do have this which I cut back every year. I finally decided to check if this has been the cause of my rash.
It fits the description of poison sumac but from what I ready it is also a rare shrub/tree to find.
I live in Northern Virginia and this is growing in a fairly sunny part of the garden but it is also a fairly wet area.

Any comments would be greatly appreciated!


Greener Thumb
Posts: 1152
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 3:26 pm
Location: North Carolina

Doesn't look like it to me but it just started leafing out but I haven't heard of anyone getting a rash from sumac. Your poison's have fine needles.

Greener Thumb
Posts: 720
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 2:01 pm
Location: Jacksonville, FLZone 9A

I rarely encounter poison sumac (Toxicodendron vernix), but it is possible as an identification. T. vernix will have white berries. Does yours?

Like poison ivy, Toxicodendron radicans, there is a good degree of variability in appearance. The leaf is a compound leaf, though. Yours very well may be, or maybe I'm seeing small branches. The leaf stems tend to red, and yours is looking like they will color up to red or rust color.

How about autumn color on this shrub? The Toxicodendrons usually are brilliantly colored in the fall. Sometimes the prettiest red leaf will be poison ivy, for instance.

See this page from Duke U. for pics of T. vernix to compare. Keep in mind that their photos are of great specimens though.

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