Scientific name for Pioson-ivy

Thomas Lammers lammers at VAXA.CIS.UWOSH.EDU
Mon Apr 3 11:06:04 CDT 2000

At 09:40 AM 4/3/00 -0600, you wrote:
>What is the most widely accepted scientific name for poison-ivy?

Depends if you consider the dermatitis-inducing species with loose axillary
inflorescences of smooth pale fruits to form a genus distinct from the
innocuus species with dense terminal  inflorescences of glandular-pubescent
red fruits.  If you do, the dermatitis-inducing species make up the genus
Toxicodendron Miller, while the others make up Rhus L. in the strict
sense.  If you don't thinbk these differences are so important and believe
allergens and non-allergens can be placed in one genus, the name Rhus has

That said, the common poison ivy in much of eastern North America is either
Rhus radicans L. or Toxicodendron radicans (L.) Kuntze.

I believe most botanists do consider the allergenic specvies to form a
distinct genus, but you will always find those who prefer the broader
circumscription of Rhus.
Thomas G. Lammers, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor and Curator of the Herbarium (OSH)
Department of Biology and Microbiology
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54901-8640 USA

e-mail:                     lammers at
phone (office):         920-424-7085
phone (herbarium):  920-424-1002
fax:                         920-424-1101

Plant systematics; classification, nomenclature, evolution, and
biogeography of the Campanulaceae s. lat.
"Today's mighty oak is yesterday's nut that stood his ground."
                                                 -- Anonymous

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