Poison ivy, also known by the more scientific name, Toxicodendron radicans , is a poisonous plant found in the forests and wooded areas of North America. Although it is found in both a creeping and climbing vine form, it is not truly a part of the ivy family and is sometimes classified as a noxious weed. Poison oak and poison sumac are similar species. Each of these variants of the plant can be found in North America from Canada to Mexico. It is abundant along the Atlantic Coast in the United States from New England down to the southeastern states. It does not grow in dry or arid desert conditions nor can it grow at altitudes above 4,900 feet. Poison ivy can typically be found on the edge of forest growth. Poison ivy grows in several forms. It can grow as a climbing vine that will attach itself to trees, as a trailing vine growing along the forest floor, or as a shrub or small, tree-like plant.