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Holding Down the Fort: Poison Ivy

Posted on June 25, 2020

Leaves of three, let it be — right? We’ve all heard the sayings that help us tell the difference between poison ivy and other plants, but it doesn’t always seem so simple.

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Poison ivy plant along the trail

When it comes to knowing what poison ivy looks like, there’s a lot more to it than the rule of three. Plenty of other plants share similar characteristics to poison ivy, making your day in nature a little harder to navigate.

Use our tips and tricks for identifying poison ivy to stay safe and healthy on your adventure.

Tips for identifying poison ivy:

  1. Know the colours. Poison ivy can range from bright green in the summer to deep orange in the fall, however it sometimes is yellow and orange too.
  2. Give it a tap. Poison ivy has a woody stem that is thicker than other plants. Using a stick that you can discard of afterwards, tap the stem to check how study it is.
  3. Identify the leaves. The middle of the three leaves will be the largest, with each having a pointy tip and glossy finish.


Several poison ivy plants in the forest.

What if I’ve come in contact with poison ivy?

A rash from poison ivy can take anywhere from 12 hours to 5 days to appear. If you think you’ve come in contact with poison ivy, it’s best to thoroughly wash your clothes and any equipment you’ve touched since.