Plants That Look Like Poison Ivy

Trees and plants can unleash their full force on the trailside, so it is possible to get seriously itchy legs by ripping through some foliage on your bicycle. We are all familiar with poison oak, the white-berried, three-leaved aggressor. However, many other plants can cause us to feel discomfort if touched accidentally.

Although poison ivy can be found all over the U.S., it is one of the less popular plants. Itchy, blistering skin can be caused by urushiol, which is a sticky and long-lasting oil. Even very slight contact can cause the oil to be left behind, even if you are just brushing your face against the leaves.

Many of us are familiar with poison oak, but there are many other plants we can get in the same situation if we touch them accidentally. Here we will discuss 7 plants that look like poison ivy but aren’t. Find out more details by reading the following.

How to identify Poison Ivy:

Before we get to the details of the 7 plants that look like poison ivy but aren’t, let me tell you about the Poison ivy and how you can identify that tree.

Poison Ivy:

It may seem the most harmful of all the Upstate NY’s plants; it is also the most dangerous. Its vulnerability lies in its ability to hide and can be challenging to identify. This common and rash-inducing species can be found in a wide range of areas throughout the region. It will often be found at the edges of wooded areas or paths and in meadows, and anywhere there is rich soil, good water, and partial shade.

And If you come into contact with this oil, wash your skin immediately unless you know you’re not allergic to it. If you wash off the oil, you may be less likely to get a rash. A rash can be quite itchy and continue for weeks if you get one.


  • All poison ivy has three leaves. The smaller leaflets are not attached to the stems.
  • Leaves tend to be glossy.
  • Leaves might be smooth or may have a few large teeth.
  • Some young leaves might be reddish.
  • May grow in ground cover, as a woody vine that can climb over 75 feet or as a shrub or tree with some support plants or structures.
  • The stem of wood has black, wet roots that stick to surfaces. An adult vine can grow up to 3 inches.
  • Flowering poison ivy has small, yellowish flowers with small, whitish berries.

7 Plants That Look Like Poison Ivy But Aren’t

1. Poison oak

poison oak

Although its mature leaves look somewhat like English oak, it isn’t related to oak trees. Like poison ivy, you can find it all across the United States. It grows in both forests and dry places like sandy beaches. It has deep green leaves and grows in groups of three along a strong stem. You can describe its yellow flowers as fuzzy and its berries as hairy.

Similar to poison ivy, poison oak plants contain urushiol all year. If you get in touch with the poison oak plant’s parts, it can cause a rash.

Poison oak symptoms and treatment are the same for poison ivy. However, the severity of your reaction will depend upon your allergy to the allergen.

2. Poison sumac

Poison sumac

Poison sumac can grow to 6-30 feet in height. It contains the same urushiol oil but in higher amounts. According to some botanists, poison sumac is one of the most dangerous plants in North America.

Painful swellings and eruptions characterize the skin’s reaction to poison sumac. However, inhaling the smoke from burned sumac leaves can cause pulmonary edema, which causes fluid to enter the lungs. Poison sumac grows best in humid areas.

3. Virginia Creeper

Virginia Creeper

Virginia Creeper vine is a native woody plant that provides shelter as well as food to wildlife. The number and variety of leaves are the best way to distinguish between Virginia creeper and poison ivy. The number of leaves on poison ivy is three, while Virginia creeper can have five. The young Virginia creeper can grow three leaves. However, the vines are smooth and not hairy. Avoid plants that are difficult to see. Virginia Creeper leaves are 2 to 6 inches long and have sharp edges. The leaves of Virginia Creeper are 2 to 6 inches long and have serrated edges. As they mature, the leaves turn green. In autumn, they become brilliant red again. Virginia creeper is found all over the U.S. in the eastern, middle, and southern regions. They can be seen in forests, along fence lines, climbing up trees, and stream banks. It is tolerant and can survive in any amount of sunlight to partial shade.

4. Boxelder


Boxelder, part of the maple family, can be found in various bottomland areas across the United States. It is another from 7 plants that look like poison ivy but aren’t. Boxelder is sometimes mistaken for poison ivy, but this is only when the sapling is young. Both plants have compound foliage, which means that each leaf is made up of three leaflets. The easiest solution to identify these two species apart is by the arrangement of their leaves. The leaves of poison ivy are alternately placed along the vine. All leaves of the boxelder have a unique structure. Another indicator is the hue of the leaves in their early stages. Young poison ivy is almost always reddish, while a younger boxelder is often a light yellow-green color. Once they reach maturity, poison ivy and boxelder trees are easily distinguishable.

5. Mock Strawberry

Mock Strawberry

You can find mock strawberries in small patches on grass, fields, and other open spaces. Like poison oak and other invasive plants, Mock strawberry leaves have sharp edges and are three inches long. Small yellow flowers bloom between April and June. Mock strawberries are a tasteless, smaller version of the strawberry that you would find in a garden. Mock strawberry leaves are yellower than poison ivy leaves. They connect to the stem at one central point. It contrasts nicely with poison ivy’s leaves, which are opposite and have a terminal leaflet that is longer than the stem. This distinguishing characteristic makes it easy to tell them apart.

Buy Strawberry Seeds

6. Jack In The Pulpit

Jack In The Pulpit

Jack-in-the-pulpit, a rare, native, shade-loving, woodland species, is also known as Jack-in-the-pulpit. Three leaflets with smooth edges meet at the tip of each leaf stem. Large, oval leaves with tapered tips can reach up to 8 inches in width. A large, hooded flower blooms on a separate stalk and bears clusters of red fruits. That is in late summer. Three leaves can be mistaken for poison ivy. However, the middle vein in the jack-in-the-pulpit does not reach the leaf tips. The poison ivy leaf’s central vein runs to its edge.

Buy Jack In The Pulpit Plant

7. American Hog Peanut

American Hog Peanut

Hog peanut is a perennial, herbaceous, and native vine plant of the pea family. The plant is 2-8 feet tall and can twine itself to other plants and branches. The habitat for the hog peanut is woodlands or meadows. Two types of flowers are available for this species. One is an open-stemmed flower that grows on the top stem, and the other remains closed on the ground. The open flowers have five petals. They are available in many colors, including white and purple. The leaves of hog peanut are three in number, but they have a much egg-shaped appearance than poison ivy. Hog peanut’s stems are more delicate than poison ivy’s, and they have fewer veins.

Effect of Poison Plants

The spread of poison ivy or other poisonous plants like those 7 plants that look like poison ivy but aren’t rashes cannot be prevented. It is possible to get a rash from oily plant oils that have accumulated on clothing, pets, gardening tools, or other items that have been in direct contact with the plants. Plant oil can remain on almost any surface for many years, even for years, until it is washed away with water or rubbing alcohol.

The rash can only occur where the oil has been applied to the skin. Poison ivy cannot be spread through itching. If the rash appears gradually, it may appear to be spreading. That could be because plant oil absorbs at different rates in different body areas, repeated exposure to contaminated objects, or trapped oil under the nails. The fluid that forms in blisters, even if they break, is not oil from plants and can’t spread the rash.


Itchy blisters may occur if you touch any one of these poisonous species. Itchy rashes may appear in patches or lines and streaks.

A large number of people are allergic to urushiol. You’ll find urushiol in every part of these plants. The oil can be absorbed by touching the leaves. When the plant parts break down or are damaged, additional oil is produced. Oil is difficult to break down and can stick to clothes and fur for up to a whole year. Contact with oil from a secondary source can also lead to an allergic reaction.

These plants are not all allergic. Sensitivity varies from person to person. However, allergies can develop when there is more contact. It is a good idea to avoid these 7 plants that look like poison ivy but aren’t


Hydrocortisone creams and other anti-itch creams may be used to relieve mild irritation. To cure rashes, you can visit your local pharmacy and get over-the-counter medications. Calamine lotion, oral antihistamines, and oral antihistamines can also provide relief. You can also use cold packs, oatmeal baths, and compresses containing Burow’s solution. The majority of patients clear up in a few weeks, with no need for additional medical treatment.

Most people will have mild to moderate symptoms, while 10 to 15 percent will have severe reactions that require medical treatment. And the medicine can be given in low-dose oral or injectable steroids. If the rash covers large areas of the body, causes swelling, difficulty swallowing, or is difficult to breathe, seek medical attention.

Consuming the plants can cause severe irritation and even death. Inhaling urushiol from burning poison oak, poison ivy, or Sumac can cause airway inflammation. These are emergencies that require immediate medical assistance.

How to Control

These plants might be tough to keep under control. Although it may seem tempting to burn an intruding patch in your backyard, you should never do this. Urushiol can be inhaled in smoke and may cause severe swelling and obstructions to the esophagus. That could lead to difficulty breathing and even death. The allergen can also be released when you trim or mow your vines or patches.

Herbicide spraying is the most effective technique to eradicate these hazardous plants. You can find effective herbicides that contain glyphosate or triclopyr in most general stores’ gardening section. Follow the instructions on the package label. If you want to kill these plants, you’ll need to use many spraying, so be patient and calm!

Trimming the vines may be necessary. However, some sap can be released from the cutting, and some urushiol could become airborne or fall from the overhead leaves. It is critical to avoid inhaling any particles. You should wear protective clothing when cutting vines, including long sleeves, pants, and closed-toed shoes. Dust masks are also recommended. You should not cut these vines on windy days as they can increase the spread of allergens. There’s no better time to accomplish this than the middle of the winter when the sap is low. You should also keep in mind that vines might give you a rash at any time of the year.

You may feel uncomfortable or unsure about managing the problem.

Tips you can follow:

Below are some tips that can help you eliminate the rashes problem from 7 plants that look like poison ivy but aren’t.

  • When you are in the woods, wear long pants and closed-toed shoes.
  • Before touching any tree trunks, be sure to scrutinize them for vines.
  • Avoid leafy green plants that cover the forest floor.
  • Even if you are not allergic, avoid contact with these plants. An allergy may develop if you are exposed to more plants.
  • You should not burn any of these plants. You may inhale the allergen if it becomes airborne.
  • When weeding in poison ivy-prone areas, wear long sleeves vinyl gloves and wash your hands afterward.
  • Apply a prophylactic lotion, such as Ivy Block before you go outside to prevent your exposure.
  • If you fear you’ve come into touch, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Rinse well. Avoid using hot water as it can make the problem worse.
  • After returning from outdoor recreation, wash your clothes immediately.


  • What plants can be mistaken for poison ivy?

Common plants are often confused with poison ivy due to their similarity in appearances, such as Virginia creeper, Sumac, skunkbush Sumac, and boxelder.

  • What cures poison ivy fast?

You should clean the area for at least 10 minutes with soap and water. Use a cool tub. ApplycalamineTo relieves itching; you can apply another anti-itching cream three to four times daily. You can soothe itching areas with oatmeal products.

  • Is hot or cold water better for poison ivy?

If you believe you have come into direct contact with poisonous Ivy, wash the area with soapy water. Remember that urushiol oil is oil so that you can treat it accordingly. Avoid hot water as it can allow the skin to open its pores, penetrating further and more profound.

  • What can be mistaken for poison ivy rash?

Consult your doctor if your rash is severe or involves your face or genital area. Because poison oaks, poison sumac, and the fruit skin of mangoes can cause a similar inflammation.

  • How can you tell the difference between poison oak and Virginia creeper?

The leaves are divided into five leaflets, each measuring 6 inches long and with saw-toothed edges. In autumn, it will bring out the brightest red. It’s typically a more robust and larger plant than poison Oak, with a spread of 30-50 feet.

  • How does apple cider vinegar get rid of poison ivy?

You can use apple cider vinegar to treat these skin rash symptoms.

  • You can soak a cotton ball in 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or 50/50 water mixture.
  • Use it on your rash.
  • Repeat this three to four times daily.


These poisonous plants hide in backyards, trails, fields, and rural places all around New York. It can make your life unpleasant. It can be difficult for people to know if the plant they are looking at is poisonous Ivy or similar.

These plants can cause a range of irritations, which can be healed swiftly but can also result in severe permanent injuries, risking your summer fun. You can treat your rash with cool compresses and calamine lotion if you cannot avoid these plants. You can try an over-the-counter antihistamine if it doesn’t help. If you experience severe reactions like blistering or trouble breathing, seek medical help right away.

We hope this article will help you identify the 7 plants that look like poison ivy but aren’t and help you avoid exposure. And if you are exposed somehow, how you can treat that.

Share Now:


Leave a Comment

Related Posts

Does 24d kill Crabgrass

Does 24d kill Crabgrass?

Crabgrass is one of the most annoying plants on the planet, and it’s one of the hardest to kill as well.  Not only does it

How To Install Pavers On Grass

How To Install Pavers On Grass

Are you ready to lay some pavers?  Whether you are decorating your backyard or adding to your patio, installing pavers over grass will add a