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Western poison ivy (or poison oak) is a close relative of the more familiar poison ivy that occurs across more eastern portions of North America. Unlike its cousin, however, it grows as a small shrub and does not exhibit a viny form. It spreads by rhizomes and can form dense carpets in some areas. Although all parts of the plant are irritating to humans, wildlife and birds can sparingly browse them.
Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), cliffs, balds, or ledges, forests, talus and rocky slopes
Growth form the plant is a shrub (a woody plant with several stems growing from the base) Leaf type the leaf blade is compound (made up of two or more discrete leaflets Leaves per node there is one leaf per node along the stem Leaf blade edges the edge of the leaf blade has lobes, or it has both teeth and lobes the edge of the leaf blade has teeth Leaf duration the leaves drop off in winter (or they wither but persist on the plant) armature on plant the plant does not have spines, prickles, or thorns Leaf stalk the leaves have leaf stalks Fruit type (general) the fruit is fleshy Bark texture the bark of an adult plant is thin and smooth Twig winter color brown gray Bud scale number there are no scales on the winter buds