It can be a challenge to identify poison ivy, oak and sumac in the winter. During the spring and summer months, when we spend a lot of time outdoors, we expect to see these plants and are on our toes, but what about that Sunday morning snowshoe through the woods? Are you able to identify these plants when there are no leaves present and snow covers the ground? If you are not able to do this you may wind up with a really awful mid-winter rash. Remember that all three of these species (if the plant is female) have cream colored or white berries as they mature, and should give you pause when you run across one. If you are unsure about winter identification, please download our free Rash Plants app for more winter photos or refer to our Quick ID for at a glance photos and captions that will help you learn these plants by comparing them in every season. There are many other tools to use if berries are not present in winter, among them are V or U-shaped leaf scars, alternate branching and, if the plant is poison ivy in the vine growth habit, hairy aerial roots.
Photo: Winter Poison Ivy Berries from the Rash Plants app