Poison oak in full flower outside of Medford, Oregon. While it is an important food source to several species of deer and squirrels, the slightest casual contact with leaves and flowers and the urushiol oil found within the plant can cause mild to severe reactions in humans in the form of blistered skin, swelling of limbs, seeping wounds and severe itching. Symptoms can become worse with proximity to the smoke of burning poison oak.
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