One is tempted to ask, How can something that has caused as much suffering as has poison ivy have such a beautiful fall foliage...?
Poison ivy's foliage is splendid in the fall, but not beautiful enough to compensate for the misery it causes when your skin comes in contact with it.
The green summer color of poison ivy's foliage yields to brilliant fall foliage in red, yellow or orange. The autumn brilliance of poison ivy's foliage is due to the anthocyanin pigments characteristic of the plant family to which poison ivy belongs, namely, the cashew family (Anacardiaceae). At first glance, the photo above may appear to be that of a tree displaying its fall foliage. In reality, however, the picture shows the fall foliage of a poison ivy vine that is growing on a dead tree.