U should do one on the bugs u gotta deal with out here. Where I live we get alot of deer ticks an mosquitoes.
This is usually the Northeast but i dont know bout the rest of the country
acutally i was given a presentation on bugs in the northeast by someone who just got his doctorite in bugology (i dont remember what it is but the study of bugs) there is a lot of info out there and if i can get his presentation ill post it up
The word you are looking for is entymology.
One thing that I should add is that while many people claim to be "immune" to poison ivy (like me), what that really means is that your body hasn't mounted an immune response YET. Continued exposure is like playing Russian roulette, you never know when you're going to loose... but the more you play, the more probable loosing will be.
Unfortunately you stumbled upon the one plant taxonomist that plays paintball, so I recognized a few minor details that were wrong with your post. Theres been a reclassification of the Rhus genus. First of all, all the plants you've mentioned have been moved under the toxicodendron genus for some time (at least since I graduated college). There are actually two types of Poison Oak, Eastern and Western... Toxicodendron quercifolium and Toxicodendron diversilobum respectively (note that the species names have been changed in the Rhus mix up). The species name for poison sumac has remained the same, but it has gone under the Toxicodendron genus as well. So the "new" names are:
Toxicodendron radican - Poison Ivy
Toxicodendron quercifolium - Eastern Poison Oak
Toxicodendron diversilobum - Western Poison Oak
Toxicodendron verlix - Poison Sumac
I don't know why this revamp ocurred, but it did... I don't know when it happened either. I do know that T. verlix looks suspiciously allot like Rhus galabra (smooth sumac), so it might have been lumped into the Rhus genus because of its morphological similarities.
T. radican can often be confused with what is commonly called "Virginia Creeper," (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) note the similarities below:
Some people might easily dismiss this possibility, but they have a similar leaf shape (I'll get back to that latter), they're both vines, and they both flourish in riparian zones and can often be seen growing next to each other. The way you can tell them apart is that a P. quinquefolia has a leaf consisting of 5 leaflets, whereas T. radican has a leaf that consists of three leaflets (yes what most consider as three leaves on T. radican are, in fact, what botanists consider one leaf).
T. radican has a very variable leaf shape, and can be hard to identify especially from photos, so take them with a grain of salt. Often they have three lobes, but they can have two or none. Some plants exhibit a toothed margin around the edge of the leaf, but many do not. Its quite common for me to find mixed populations of leaves on the same plant even, or even on the same leaf. They also have varying colors of green leaves. Some seem to have a shiny cuticle, some seem to be more dull. So, have fun identifying the boogers. The best way I've found is to just to look for the bundle of three leaflets.
You mentioned this, but I would like to underline it some... Don't forget that T. radicans is a WOODY vine, and can grow unexpectedly large. I've seen branches of poison ivy that were over 4 inches in diameter coming from a vine that had attached itself to a tree. When Chibbs says you can't tell where the vine stops and the tree starts, thats definitely right in some cases.
This post has been edited by FlamingoChavez: 12 April 2007 - 06:22 AM