Comparing poison oak pictures on the Internet to suspicious plants at home can give you an idea whether your hunch is correct or not. It is always best to identify what the plants are immediately before it spreads throughout the yard and causes harm to the family.


Poison oak can mimic the appearance of nearby plants and shrubs so they can be difficult to identify. However, with the right poison oak pictures to use as a comparison, these plants can still be spotted.

An In Depth Look At Poison Oak Pictures:

Poison Oak Picture
Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Poisonoak.jpg

“Leaves of three, beware of me.” This is a common catch phrase usually associated to poisonous plants such as poison ivy and poison oak. The leaves of poison oak are usually glossy in appearance as they are coated by poisonous toxin called urushiol.

There are two types of poisonous oak. One is the Western poison oak, or the Pacific Poison oak. The scientific name for this kind of poison oak plant is toxicodendron diversilobum. This type occurs only in the Pacific coast and ranges from Southern Canada to the Baja California Peninsula. The leaves are divided into three leaflets and are 3.5 to 10 centimeters long.

Poison Oak With Large Leaves
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PoisonOak_wb_biggerLeaves.jpg

The second type of poison oak is the Atlantic Poison oak that goes by the scientific name, toxicodendron pubescens. This is an upright type of shrub that can grow as tall as three feet. The leaves are 15 centimeters long, with the signature mark of three leaflets. The leaves often resemble white oak leaves and are usually hairy. These leaves turn yellow or orange in autumn and the plant has fruits that are small, round, and yellowish or green. This species is native to Southeastern United States westward to Oklahoma and Texas.

Toxicodendron Poison Oak
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Toxicodendron_pubescens.jpg

Poison oak leaves change color throughout the season. They are initially bronze as they unfold, turning into a bright green during spring. When the summer comes, the leaves change into yellow green to reddish hue, and finally turning bright red or pink during the fall.

Pacific Poison Oak
Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pacific-Poison-Oak.jpg
Poison Oak In The Red Phase
Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PoisonOakRedPhase.jpg

Poison oak plants are often called the “great mimics.” This is because poison oak plants have the ability to camouflage themselves by mimicking the look of shrubs and plants it is growing among. Poison oak leaves can vary in size, shape and appearance. If the plants surrounding them are tall shrubs, they can also grow as tall shrubs. If the area has no tall growth, the poison oak plants could appear as short as weeds. This could be the reason why identifying poison oak in the garden can be tricky. The photo below shows a rounded version of poison oak leaves as they imitate the appearance of nearby plants.

Poison Oak In The Green Phase
Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PoisonOakGreenPhase.jpg

Another way to tell if the plant is a poison oak is by checking its “fruits” or berries. Poison oak berries are hairy, yellowish to cream in color, and bunch around the stalks much like grapes. Its counterpart, poison ivy, has berries with a smooth and waxy appearance. Seeing berries like these growing in plants you suspect to be poisonous is a good enough indicator to stay away from the plant and take measures to eradicate it.

Toxicodendron Diversilobum With Berries
Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Toxicodendron_diversilobum_berries.jpg

Although poison oak plants are great imitators, looking through poison oak pictures can help in poison oak identification in the home or outdoors. Recognizing these plants is the first step towards prevention from contamination and minimizing the need for poison oak treatment.

Thank you for reading Poison Oak Pictures: Identify Poison Oak.

Leave a Reply