Is Boston Ivy Poisonous - Boston Ivy vs. Poison Ivy

Written by Ivy

Jan 28 2023

Is Boston Ivy Poisonous - Boston Ivy vs. Poison Ivy

The lovely plant known as boston ivy is frequently used in landscaping as an ornamental element. Boston ivy is actually poisonous, though many people are unaware of this. Oxalic acid can upset the stomach, cause abdominal pain, and other symptoms if consumed. It is present in both the plant's berries and leaves.

Before planting boston ivy in your yard, it's crucial to be aware of the dangers, especially if you have young children or animals who might be tempted to eat the berries.


Is Boston Ivy Like Poison Ivy

The genus Toxicodendron, which also includes poison oak and poison sumac, contains both of the mentioned plants. These plants can all lead to allergic reactions and skin irritability. However, there are some significant distinctions between Boston ivy and poison ivy.

One difference is that while poison ivy typically has five or seven leaves, Boston ivy only has three. In addition, Boston ivy has a stalk connecting each leaflet, whereas poison ivy only has a stalk connecting the center leaflet. Finally, unlike poison ivy, Boston ivy does not yield the distinctive white berries.

Boston ivy is not exactly the same plant as poison ivy, despite the fact that they are both technically members of the same family. Always err on the side of caution and stay away from both plants if you're worried about having an allergic reaction.


Boston ivy doesn't appear to bloom because the flowers are so small, so you'll see berries developing on the vines. When the berries are fully developed, they turn a dark blue color and form clusters that resemble grapes. With a diameter of about 1/3 inch, each berry is spherical. One to three seeds are present in each berry.

  • Boston ivy is also known as Japanese creeper and Parthenocissus tricuspidata.
  • When the berries reach maturity, they turn a dark blue color and form clusters that resemble grapes.

Toxic Berries

Boston ivy berries contain oxalates, which are also found in philodendrons, some clovers, and the weedy garden plant known as oxalis. One of the most prevalent types of poisoning handled in hospital emergency rooms is oxalate poisoning from plants.

Symptoms and Effects

Oxalates are crystals with needle-like shapes. They initially hurt and swell the lips, tongue, or skin when consumed. Edema on the larynx can cause slurred speech as one of the immediate physical effects of consuming oxalates. Kidney stones may develop after consuming oxalates. Oxalate consumption has been linked to overdose and death very infrequently.

  • Oxalates are present in boston ivy berries as well as dieffenbachias, philodendrons, some clovers, and an oxalis-like weed found in gardens.
  • Oxalates have immediate physical effects on the body, such as edema on the larynx, which can cause slurred speech.


The color and juicy appearance of Boston ivy berries make them appealing to kids and occasionally curious animals. Unknowingly ingesting these berries can cause illness in both humans and animals. The best way to avoid potential poisoning is to keep Boston ivy out of your yard. It's better to be safe than sorry if you have a young dog or child who seems to eat anything. The plant shouldn't be planted in your yard if there's a chance that people might eat the berries, despite the fact that they're colorful and look nice in dried flower arrangements.



Whether it be a person or an animal, seek medical attention as soon as possible if any of the typical symptoms of oxalate poisoning appear. Take some of the berries as well so the medical team can confirm if they were the cause. Make sure the airway is not blocked and take any uneaten berries out of the affected person's mouth. Rinse them with a lot of plain water if your eyes or skin have been impacted. Don't make someone throw up. The majority of mild cases of oxalate poisoning are treated with analgesics to help the patient feel relief from the discomfort these berries can cause.

  • Because of their vibrant color and juiciness, Boston ivy berries are attractive to kids and occasionally curious pets.
  • The plant shouldn't be planted in your yard if there's a chance that people might eat the berries, despite the fact that they're colorful and look nice in dried flower arrangements.

Does Boston Ivy Give You a Rash

Beautiful plant known as "Boston ivy" can be seen frequently clinging to trellises or climbing walls. Boston ivy may appear to be harmless, but it can actually be poisonous to people.

Some people may experience skin rashes and irritation from the plant's saponin-containing chemicals. It is best to avoid contact with Boston ivy if you are sensitive to these chemicals.

If you do come into contact with the plant, you might experience skin burning. An itchy, red, and swollen area follows this. Blisters may develop in severe cases.

It's crucial to see a doctor as soon as possible if you experience a rash from Boston ivy. It may take several weeks for the rash to fully heal, and it can be very uncomfortable.

It's crucial to be aware of the dangers if you're thinking about planting Boston ivy. In spite of the fact that the plant can beautify your house, it's crucial to consider the advantages and disadvantages before making a choice.

Is Boston Ivy Poisonous to Pets

If pets eat boston ivy, they will become poisoned. The plant's berries and leaves contain saponic glycosides that can make dogs and cats throw up and upset their stomachs.

Drooling, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, and collapse are among the signs and symptoms that typically show up within a few hours of ingestion. Contact your veterinarian or an emergency animal hospital right away if you suspect that your pet has consumed Boston ivy.


Can You Eat Boston Ivy

You can't eat Boston ivy, sorry. When consumed by mammals, the berries of this plant can be extremely toxic. But since birds adore these fruits, ivy is a well-liked garden plant among bird watchers.

If you have Boston ivy in your yard, be cautious of young children and animals who might try to eat the berries.


Therefore, Boston ivy is poisonous. Oxalic acid, which can result in stomach upset, abdominal pain, and other symptoms, is present in the berries and leaves.