Saturday, April 7, 2012

What’s the difference between poison ivy, oak and sumac?

Watch out – poison ivy, oak and sumac are in season...  

You can get the rash, even if the plants don’t look alive yet. As far as the rashes are concerned, there’s really no difference between the three. Poison ivy, oak and sumac outbreaks are usually indistinguishable from each other. All three plants contain the same resin, called an urushiol, which is to blame for the reaction most of us get. The plants themselves do look a little different. Here are the leaves to avoid:

• Poison ivy has three leaflets with a smoother edge.

• Poison oak also has three leaflets, with a more feathered edge.

• Poison sumac has 5, 7 or more leaflets to each stem, with a smooth edge.

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