A Note about Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, and Poison Sumac

Depending on whose classification you're looking at, Poison Ivy (T. radicans), Poison Oak (T. diversilobum), and Poison Sumac (T. vernix) are sometimes placed in their own genus (Toxicodendron, meaning "poison tree"). However, they are close relatives of the sumacs and have often shared a genus with them (Rhus).
I've included some Toxicodendron observations in this project both because it's well worth being able to recognize (and avoid) them, and because while they aren't favorites of humans, many birds and other types or organisms put them to good use.
The easiest way to tell these three Toxicodendron species from their more innocuous cousins is their fruit. The drupes (single-seeded, fleshy fruit) of the "poison" species are white, while the drupes of Rhus are red. Though white fruit may seem like an odd color to humans, they contrast well against foliage and are very visible to birds, which are their main dispersers. So, next time you spot a white-fruited, sumac-like plant, step away and leave it for the birds.

Publicado el abril 1, 2022 04:00 MAÑANA por m_whitson m_whitson


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