© 2009 Honor Marks
Poison Ivy
oil on canvas

Poison ivy is a member of the same family of plants as cashews and mangoes. While all parts of the poison ivy plant are toxic to humans, woodpeckers, pheasants, and quail eat the fruit which appears in the fall. To a minor extent, the foliage, branches, and fruit are eaten by the Black Bear, Cottontail Rabbit, and White-Tailed Deer. These animals appear to be immune to the irritating properties of the chemical agent, urushiol, in the foliage.