Pretty little plant with an incredible, vine-like root structure. The roots go all over the damn place, so if you pull up one little plant here or there you have done nothing because it will just shoot up someplace else, and all the time there is a huge taproot somewhere under there just laughing at you and your efforts.

It has three leaves, looks something like a small oak tree, but can change all sorts of beautiful shades of red, green, and orange.

If you touch it, or touch something that touched it, you will get little blisters on you a day or two later. They itch like hell. Hot soapy showers make it spread. The blisters get weepy and yucky and it takes forever for it to go away. If you get it on your clothes, especially your shoes or gloves (i.e., things you don't wash much), you can get the damn thing all over again every time you put your shoes on.

You can also get it from the smoke if you burn it.

Oddly enough, it only affects human beings. So your dog can run through it, not get it himself, but give you a major case of it.

Might feature in an argument for the existence of God, since it is an anthropocentric phenomenon, or maybe the existence of various gods with differing feelings toward humans.

A little known fact is that Native Americans were generally immune to Poison Oak. Other people of any ethnic background may be immune to it as well. I am mostly immune to it as I worked in it at quail ridge for 3 months and only once or twice noticed anything.

I think humans are suspectible to this just because they ahvent been around it as much as other animals (with the exception of Native Americans who have been here for thousands of years) Many plants have toxins in their leaves just to make them taste bad. I guess this one is particularly unpalatable to humans. Anyway, maybe its an argument for the existance of angry Native American gods.. Its a very interesting plant, it can grow in vine or shrub form, or even as a small tree. It likes moisture. It turns brilliant colors in the fall and even the bare stems in winter can afflict you.

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