How can I tell the difference between poison ivy and poison oak?

Asked November 3, 2014, 4:09 PM EST


I have a person asking what how they can tell the difference between poison ivy and poison oak. Also, are there 2 types of poison ivy? One with 3 leaves and one with 5? Where is a good resource to get pictures of both ivy and oak?

Thank you,


Huron County Michigan

2 Responses

The good news is; there is no poison oak in Michigan. Poison Ivy can be tricky to identify because the individual leaflets can vary some from plant to plant, and there are several look- alikes. The following sources will help with the identification of poison ivy and poison oak. The plant with five leaflets is most likely Virginia Creeper, a nontoxic native vine. Poison ivy never has 5 leaflets. When Virginia Creeper is first getting its leaves, two of the leaflets can be very small making it look a lot like poison ivy. When in doubt follow the old saying; leaves of three let it be.,d.aWw&cad=rja,d.aWw&cad=rja

I hope this information is helpful. Reply back if you have additional questions. Thank you for using our system.

Thank you. All of the information was very helpful. I've passed it along to the interested parties. Thanks again & also for the quick response.