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Poison ivy leaf, autumn color, with galls | by Martin LaBar
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Poison ivy leaf, autumn color, with galls

I have been allergic to poison ivy, Toxicodendron radicans, for decades. I'm pretty good at recognizing it, and staying away from it. But I saw this plant on a walk through our neighborhood, and thought that the leaves looked sufficiently bizarre that they were worth a close photo. The plant is in its autumn colors -- poison ivy can be spectacular in the fall -- and many or all of the leaves were infected with little growths. I looked the growths up, and they are said to be galls -- part of the plant tissue, co-opted by the insect to provide protection for it -- caused by a mite, Aculops, the poison ivy leaf gall mite.

 

The holes were apparently due to galls on the other side of the leaf.

 

I enhanced the contrast a little with The Gimp.

 

Larger sizes available, if you want closer weirdness. I have also posted a close-up photo of a leaf from the same plant. See my comment, below, to access it.

 

Thanks for all your views! I am please to report that two of my galleries are at 1,000 or more views, and another one is less than 12 away from that number. (Note added later - one of my galleries has had over 3,000 views, and two others, over 1,000. Thanks!)

 

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37 comments
Taken on October 31, 2010