Scientific name for Pioson-ivy

Petersen, Mary Elizabeth (MSX) MEPetersen at ZMUC.KU.DK
Mon Apr 3 18:01:24 CDT 2000

The question below was answered in detail by Scott Ranger
[ranger at] on Saturday, May 13, 1995. The information below is
copied from this file:

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Date:   Sat, 13 May 1995 10:12:42 -0500
Reply-To:       ranger at AMERICA.NET <mailto:ranger at AMERICA.NET> 
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From:   Scott Ranger <ranger at AMERICA.NET <mailto:ranger at AMERICA.NET> >
Subject:        Re: TAXACOM Digest - 11 May 1995 to 12 May 1995
To:     Multiple recipients of list TAXACOM <TAXACOM at UCBCMSA.BITNET
> Date:    Fri, 12 May 1995 09:19:21 -0400
> From: Bill Williams <bwilliam at OYSTER.SMCM.EDU
<mailto:bwilliam at OYSTER.SMCM.EDU> >
> Subject:      Poison Ivy
> What's the proper scientific name for the poison ivy commonly found in
> Maryland?  Brown and Brown's "Woody Plants of Maryland" uses "Rhus
> L.," but many locals seem to think it should be "Rhus toxicodendron L.,"
> which Brown and Brown call "poison oak," and say is "uncommon."
> William E. Williams, bwilliam at
<mailto:bwilliam at> 
> Department of Biology
> St. Mary's College of Maryland
> St. Mary's City, MD 20686
John Kartesz' "A Synonymized Checklist of the Vascular Flora of the
United States, Canada, and Greenland" 2nd ed, 1994 recognizes poison
ivy (eastern US species) as
Toxicodendron radicans (L.) Kuntze
ssp. divaricatum (Greene) Gillis
[syn: Toxicodendron  radicans var. divaricatum (Greene) Barkl]
                ssp. eximium (Greene ) Gillis
[syn:  Rhus toxicodendron L. var. eximina (Greene) McNair]
[syn:  Toxicodendron radicans var. eximium (Greene) Barkl]
                ssp. negundo (Greene) Gillis
[syn:  Toxicodendron radicans var. negundo (Greene) Barkl]
                ssp. pubens (Englelm. ex. S. Wats.) Gillis
[syn:  Toxicodendron radicans var. pubens (Engelm. ex. S.  Wats.) Gillis]
ssp. radicans
[syn:  Rhus radicans L.]
[syn:  Ruhs radicans var. littoralis (Mearns) Deam]
[syn:  Rhus radicans var. malacotrichocarpa (A.H. Moore) Fern] [syn:
Toxicodendron vulgare P. Mill] ssp. verrucosum (Schele) Gillis [syn:
Toxicodendron radicans var. verrucosum  (Scheele) Barkl]
The eastern species called "poison oak" is ascribed to:
Toxicodendron pubescens P. Mill
[syn:  Rhus acutiloba Turcz.]
[syn:  Rhus toxicarium Salisb.]
[syn:  Toxicodendron quercifolium (Michx.) Greene]
[syn:  Toxicodendron toxicarium Gillis]
[syn:  Toxicodendron toxicodendron (L.) Britt.]
The two species are clearly closely related, but can be field separated
without much difficulty.  Here in Georgia, poison oak tends to prefer dry,
rocky, hot sites and grows predominantly as a short shrub.  The leaves are
more "oak-like."   Poison ivy grows just about anywhere the ground is a bit
disturbed (even the slightest) and has many, many forms as the list of
subspecies might indicate).
Hope you find this helpful.
"That which is, is.  It is justified only by being."
Scott Ranger
ranger at <mailto:ranger at> 

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Dr. Mary E. Petersen
Assistant Editor, Steenstrupia
Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen
Universitetsparken 15, DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark
Tel +45-35 32 10 67 - Fax +45-35 32 10 10
E-mail: mepetersen at


        -----Original Message-----
        From:   David Hanych [SMTP:dhanych at HAL.BSCS.ORG]
        Sent:   03 April 2000 17:40
        To:     TAXACOM at USOBI.ORG
        Subject:        Scientific name for Pioson-ivy

        What is the most widely accepted scientific name for poison-ivy?

        D. Hanych
        Biological Sciences Curriculum Study

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