May. 20, 2017

poison sumac, Toxicodendron vernix

Yesterday's mention of this shrub elicited interest. So here it is. Don't touch! This may be our most toxic plant. All parts can produce an awful weeping itchy rash. Burning it and breathing smoke can be fatal. Fortunately, it almost never strays from its boggy homes. Although I did see one on top of a hill last year. I decided not to use a closeup. This is much better for identification. The closeup is in the album. Poison sumac led to a friend being really angry with me. She got a rash working in her garden. She went on the internet, saw poison sumac, and became convinced that was her problem. She proceeded to kill all the ash seedlings around her fence, ignoring the poison ivy. She wouldn't believe me about the identification. She saw it on the internet! I still spray the poison ivy down there at least once a year. This grows in AL, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY(E), LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV, NS, ON, and QC(L). Hayes State Park, Lenawee Co MI, 6/15/11.