E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Toxicodendron diversilobum (Torr. & A. Gray) Greene
poison oak (Pacific poison oak)
Anacardiaceae (Sumac family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Adolf Ceska  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #11274)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Toxicodendron diversilobum
Click here to view our interactive map and legend
Details about map content are available here
Click on the map dots to view record details.

Species Information

Click on the image below to view an expanded illustration for this species.

Deciduous shrub 1-2 m tall or woody climbing vine up to 15 m tall, glabrous to hairy, exuding milky juice when cut.
Leaflets 3-5, rounded, obtuse or sometimes sharp-pointed at the tips, 3-7 cm long, turning scarlet in autumn.
Inflorescence in loose, axillary, often reflexed panicles; flowers bisexual or unisexual, 1-2 mm long, yellowish-green; stamens exserted.
Berrylike drupes, 5 mm long, white, glabrous.
Many people develop an itching or burning rash after contacting this plant because of its slightly volatile oil.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry to mesic rocky slopes (often climbing trees) in the lowland zone; rare in SW BC, known from SE Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and Howe Sound; S to MX.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Rhus diversiloba Torr. & A. Gray
Toxicodendron radicans subsp. diversilobum (Torr. & A. Gray) Thorne

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References