Leaf Identification Guide [Infographic]

Use this helpful, printable infographic to learn how to identify leaves - and avoid poisonous plants!

By: Brittnee Longnecker for
Leaf Identification Guide
Leaf Identification Guide

Do you enjoy going “leaf-watching” when autumn comes around? Or taking nature walks in the spring and summer? Now you’ll know exactly what types of plants you’re looking at with this handy Leaf Identification Guide!

Whether you are planning a camping trip, going on a hike, or simply enjoying the great outdoors from the comfort of your own backyard, this guide will help you identify the plants you are likely to come across.

Plus, scroll down to learn how to avoid poisonous plants, and what to do if you come across them.

MaterialsNature Material

Primary TechniqueGardening

HolidayFall, Spring, Summer

Project TypeLearn a Technique

Leaf Identification 101

There are several things to consider when trying to identify leaves.

Step 1: Understanding the shape of the leaf. Is it single (one leaf) or compound (made up of many smaller leaves)? Is it lobed (with peaks and valleys, like the shape of a hand) or unlobed? Are the edges smooth or toothed?

Step 2: Discovering the texture of the leaf. Is it broad and flat? Thin and scaly? These factors will help you identify what type of leaf you are looking at.

It’s fun to see what kind of leaves make their way into your backyard. Keep this helpful guide handy while you enjoy the great outdoors this season!

Beware of Poisonous Plants!

You can protect yourself again poisonous plants by being aware of what they look like. (Good thing you have this helpful infographic to guide you!)

Most people who come into contact with poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac will develop an itchy red rash that can last for several weeks. Avoid direct contact with the leaves, stem, roots, or berries of these plants (even if a plant is dead).

If your shoes, clothing, pets, or tools come into contact with these poisonous plants, avoid touching them in the contaminated areas and wash them as soon as possible. If a contaminated object isn’t cleaned, you can still develop a rash from touching it years later!

If you have been in direct contact with a poisonous plant, wash the affected area as soon as possible. This can lessen the severity of the rash. Then try this poison ivy home remedy!

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This is a brilliant little chart to have and is a great one to do with the kids as an adventure day out or to make it as a little competition with them. My Niece and Nephew had the best time doing this and seeking out the safe non poisonous ones

I am so glad to find this chart with the pictures of poison oak,posion ivy and sumac because we have a lot around our yard and I have to watch out for it when I garden and my grandkids play in the yard. These can be mistaken easily for good leaves. As a matter of fact my husband swore that a vine we had was kutzu but it is not.I took a picture on my phone of them so I know what to stay away from. Anyone else do the same?

This is a handy chart to learn and have around. It could also be used to create a fun game to play with the kids when camping or on a family outing. After looking over the chart, I assume not everyone reacts to the poisonous leaves. I came into close contact with all three as a child and never had a reaction of any kind.

This guide is so helpful! I know what poison ivy looks like but can never remember what poison oak or poison sumac looks like. Great if you live in a rural area!

Definitely needed before any camping or hiking trip!


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