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Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Volume 2, n° 4
pages 332-333 (avril 1980)
Doi : 10.1016/S0190-9622(80)80047-8
Clinical and laboratory studies

The black spot test for recognizing poison ivy and related species

Jere D. Guin, M.D.
 From the Department of Dermatology, Indiana University School of Medicine, USA 

1Address for reprints: 804 South Berkley Road, Kokomo, IN 46901.

A black, enamel-like deposit is frequently present on injured areas of poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. This finding can also be produced deliberately as a field test for the toxic nature of the plant. Observing proper precautions, one crushes sap from leaves onto a sheet of white paper. The resulting stain should darken on exposure to the air if it came from a Toxicodendron . This test employs only one quality of these plants, and it is not, therefore, a substitute for other proved means of identification.

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