Scientific Name

Toxicodendron diversilobum

Part Shade


Max. Height × Width

2-12 × 12 feet

More information

Price & Availability

One gallon pot


9 available



1 available

Who, in their right mind, would intentionally plant Poison Oak? Well, here at LANPS, we invite you to step outside the bland uniformity of the typical native garden axis of conventional Manzanita and Ceanothus cultivars and consider planting Poison Oak as an act of radical habitat restoration in your own backyard.

Aside from its obvious and undeniable, um, “drawbacks,” this food source for wildlife belongs in Los Angeles and is a member in good standing of the Southern Oak Woodland community. (In fact, the former Tongva village where the original pueblo of Los Angeles was established was called “Yangna,” or “Place of the Poison Oak.”)  When planted strategically (so that it’s not likely that your skin will come into contact with its leaves or stems), it’s also quite beautiful, weaving through other, sturdier shrubs with its trio of shiny, oak-like leaflets that go from apple green in spring to rusty red and yellow in the fall.

Poison Oak is an excellent choice for an oak understory but will appreciate any relatively remote spot in your garden with dappled/filtered sun. It needs no supplemental water once established. A pair of garden gloves when pruning will keep everyone happy. (For an in-depth disquisition on this much maligned local native, see “Planting a Pariah.”)

Drawing of plant with berries

Bitter Gooseberry

Ribes amarum


Blue Dicks

Dipterostemon (Dichelostemma) capitatus

Drawing of plant with berries

Blue Elderberry

Sambucus nigra ssp. caerulea

Blue Wildrye

Elymus glaucus

Branching Phacelia

Phacelia ramosissima

Brickell Bush

Brickellia californica

California Aster

Corethrogyne filaginifolia

California Aster

Corethrogyne filaginifolia

Drawing of plant

California Four O’Clock

Mirabilis laevis var. crassifolia

California Fuchsia

Epilobium canum ssp. canum

California Prickly Phlox

Linanthus californicus

Drawing of plant

Canyon Dudleya

Dudleya cymosa

Drawing of plant

Cardinal Catchfly

Silene laciniata

Caterpillar Phacelia

Phacelia cicutaria

Drawing of plant with acorn

Coast Live Oak

Quercus agrifolia

Coast Prickly Pear

Opuntia littoralis

Illustration of plant in planter


Frangula californica

Drawing of plant

Fiesta Flower

Pholistoma auritum

Drawing of plant with handing flowers

Fuchsiaflower Gooseberry

Ribes speciosum

Drawing of plant

Hollyleaf Redberry

Rhamnus ilicifolia

Longstem Buckwheat

Eriogonum elongatum

Drawing of plant with feathery flowers

Mountain Mahogany

Cercocarpus betuloides

Drawing of plant

Punch Bowl Godetia

Clarkia bottae


Claytonia perfoliata

Drawing of plant

Round Leafed Boykinia

Boykinia rotundifolia

Sacred Datura

Datura wrightii

Drawing of plant

Santa Barbara Honeysuckle

Lonicera subspicata var. denudata

Illustration of plant in planter

Saw-Toothed Goldenbush

Hazardia squarrosa var. grindelioides

Drawing of plant

Scarlet Larkspur

Delphinium cardinale

Silver Puffs

Uropappus lindleyi

Drawing of plant

Soap Plant

Chloroglaum pomeridianum

Drawing of plant

Southern Bush Monkeyflower

Diplacus longiflorus

Drawing of plant with berries

Southern California Black Walnut

Juglans californica

Drawing of plant with spotted flowers

Spotted Humboldt’s Lily

Lilium humboldtii ssp. ocellatum


Helianthus annuus

Threadleaf Ragwort

Senecio flaccidus

Drawing of plant with berries


Heteromeles arbutifolia

Drawing of plant

Western Columbine

Aquilegia formosa

Drawing of plant

Western Wallflower

Erysimum capitatum

Wild Heliotrope