There is significant variety in size and form in the genus, but Rhus glabra, smooth sumac, and Rhus typhina, staghorn sumac, are two of the larger forms that can be grown as small trees. The leaflets are narrowed or rounded at the base and sharply pointed at the tip with finely serrated edges. Make sure you know what a Poison Sumac (Toxicodendron vernix) looks like. Harvesting: In the late summer to early fall the clusters of berries will be bright red and ready to pick. Seeds: You can start a Sumac from seed, but it is not just planting it in the ground. It is found in persistent upright clusters. After planting, cover the ground with mulch to help keep the soil moist. Both Sumac and Tree of Heaven are in flower in northeast Ohio, which in fact is one of the best ways to tell them apart. Try to get as big diameter around the Sumac as possible. Flowers bloom in June and July they are in dense panicles of greenish-red small five petaled flowers. Both grow naturally as large, multi-stemmed shrubs forming large colonies, but a bit of yearly pruning will keep them trained into a tree form. Staghorn sumac ( Rhus typhina ), at top, has fuzzy fruit and stems and is named “staghorn” because the fuzzy fruit spike resembles a stag’s horn in velvet. It can often be seen on steep hills or along the roadside, as it is also resistant to erosion and pollution. Choosing the Right Patio Material for Your Landscape, Pacific Garden Design, 1508 South Chestnut Street, Spokane, WA, 99224, Plant Spotlight: Smooth Sumac and Staghorn Sumac. Smooth sumac ( Rhus glabra ), above, is smooth just like its name. You have to either cut the hard shell without damaging the seed inside, or bring a pot of water to a boil, turn off, toss the seeds in, and leave until the water cools. Cut below the cluster with a sharp knife, pruners or sharp, strong scissors and take inside to use. Sumacs are plants from the genus Rhus that grow around the world, with over a dozen true sumac species in North America. This large shrub has compound leaves, meaning each leaf is composed of several leaflets. Uncle Boopoo, Oct 23, 2011. Smooth Sumac has none of the hair on the leaves. The Staghorn and Smooth Sumac likes well drained hilly areas, … There is significant variety in size and form in the genus, but Rhus glabra, smooth sumac, and Rhus typhina, staghorn sumac, are two of the larger forms that can be grown as small trees. They like full sun, but can do fine if they spend some of the day in shade. Rhus typhina, the staghorn sumac, is a species of flowering plant in the family Anacardiaceae, native to eastern North America. The staghorn sumac commonly grows a few inches higher than the smooth sumac, but has few other apparent differences (Angier [2008] 1974: 224). However, on close inspections of stems, buds, fruit pods and trunk, you can tell the difference. The fruit of staghorn sumac is a red fuzzy droop, a fleshy fruit with thin skin and central stone containing the seed. It is one of the primary native woody nuisances that moves into prairies in Missouri, where its dense colonies eliminate other native species. Once they have sprouted, take off the bag and mist to keep moist and grow in a bright, but not direct burning sun spot. Water well and keep wet for the first year if done in spring. The thick branches are hairy and resemble the velvety antlers of a male deer (stag), hence the common name of “staghorn.” Clusters o… The edible … (By: USDA). Oct 23, 2011 #6 . Transplant in the spring into the ground and keep moist for the first season. Add some mulch around them each fall - leaves from the rest of the surrounding yard is a great way to get rid of them and mulch these. Male flower panicles come out in June/July. A staghorn sumac leaf will have at least 13 leaflets on it (usually more); a poison sumac leaf will have at most around 13 leaflets (usually fewer). without written permission from the author. Fall and winter are its real time to shine, though. Make sure you know what a Poison Sumac (Toxicodendron vernix) looks like. Distribution map courtesy of the USGS Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center, originally from "Atlas of United States Trees" by Elbert L. Little, Jr. . Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina) range. A plastic chair over them would do well and let in the morning and evening sun. Sumac is a deciduous shrub native to North America found in all 48 mainland states of USA and in southern Canada. If you plant in an area where it is mowed around, this will keep it in check. The leaves are similar looking to the Staghorn Sumac, and especially the Smooth Sumac at first glance - they are compound leaves. Originally the content in this site was a book that was sold through Amazon worldwide. Note the smooth margin and presence of one or two glandular teeth at the base of the leaflets on Tree-of-Heaven. Soil & Site: If you have alkaline soil, your better bet is the Smooth Sumac. Messages: 7,925 Likes Received: Recipe search on the web here (Google search) and here (Bing search). Text Copyright © 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 David G. Mills. Sumac is high in vitamins A and C, as well as being full of antioxidants. (By: Eike Wulfmeyer Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic), Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina) male flower panicle at the early stage. The Poison Sumac likes very damp or wet land. Staghorn Sumac is a popular ornamental shrub with red velvet like antlers that produce seeds that provide nice winter interest for landscapers and gardeners. Shining sumac ( Rhus copallina) is easily identified by its winged stems. Male flower panicles come out in June/July. The roots are shallow, so 20 cm (10 inches) deep is good enough. I know that some Sumac turns red in … Large conical seedheads mature throughout the summer, arriving at a deep rust color by autumn.The contrast with the green foliage is stupendous, but even better is the brilliant orange-red fall color. The ads on the site help cover the cost of maintaining the site and keeping it available. Uncle Boopoo, Oct 23, 2011. After, plant the seeds 3mm (1/8 inch) deep in a pot with potting soil, mist it until it is moist, cover with a clear plastic bag and put a rubber band around the bag and pot to seal in the moisture. Though they are nearly identical in appearance and growing conditions, Rhus glabra is native across North America, including the Spokane region, while Rhus typhina is native only to the eastern half of the continent. Some very nice rubs and beds too. Despite the name, poison sumac is included with species including poison oak and poison ivy in the Toxicodendron genus. Much of it depends on where the trees are located! Also called Sicilian sumac because it’s grown in southern Italy. It is primarily found in southeastern Canada, the northeastern and midwestern United States, and the Appalachian Mountains, but it is widely cultivated as an ornamental throughout the temperate world. The most common non-poisonous sumac, staghorn sumac, bears bright orange or red berries which grow at the ends of the stems, and they are held upright on the stems. There isn't much else to do for them. The best soil is rich in organic matter, well drained and moist. Anacardiaceae Family: Staghorn sumac is a U.S. native, deciduous, large shrub to small tree that can attain a height of 30-35 feet. Native Americans used … Staghorn Sumac and smooth sumac are hiding in plain sight! Staghorn Sumac's can grow up to 6 m high, 10 cm in diameter and 50 years old. Tree-of-Heaven is on the left, and staghorn sumac is on the right. Viburnums: Nannyberry, Highbush Cranberries & Others, USGS Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center, GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2, Interactive USDA distribution map and plant profile, The Biota of North America Program (BONAP) distribution map. Leave for a month or so. If done in the fall, water well after planting, and the next year don't let it dry out. This and other species of true sumac usually grow in … Hello. The berry clusters are beautiful to look at, and actually make a nice drink. Keeps for a day or two without a problem. Photo by Chris Earley. This drink cuts thirst better than almost anything else. However, I wanted the information to available to everyone free of charge, so I made this website. The staghorn sumac plants produce a milky latex that will stain your clothes dark brown. Smooth Sumac (Rhus glabra) early in the season. The Smooth Sumac is also the better choice for drier conditions. They are pioneer plants and quickly spread by rhizomes to colonize erosion prone areas. Sumac is one of the first plants to change, making it easy to identify along roadsides and in its native habitat. Eleven to 31 leaflets are arranged in opposite pairs along a stalk which grows 30 to 50 centimetres long. They are unique looking shrubs, grow without maintenance,… All Drawings Copyright © 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 David G. Mills except where noted. Dwarf sumac can have the same number of leaflets as poison sumac, but the leaf stalk has “wings”, as show in figure 3, in keeping with its alternate name, winged sumac. Tree of Heaven, Ailanthus altissima and Staghorn Sumac, Rhus typhina, can be difficult to differentiate in the winter months. They are amazing plants for pollinators and overlooked by almost everyone! All Photographs Copyright © 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 David G. Mills except where noted.*. The new growth has the purplish color. Put the pinkish red drink in a fridge to cool, or over ice to have right away. (By: Brosen CC BY-SA 3.0). The leaflets of poison sumac have smooth margins; those of staghorn sumac are toothed. (By: Mehmet Karatay CC BY-SA 3.0), These trees are very beautiful edible landscaping trees. (By: Lubiesque CC BY-SA 3.0), Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina) branch after leaves have fallen off. Staghorn and smooth sumac both have long green stems containing more than 13 saw-toothed-edged leaves. Staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina) This shrub possesses hairy stem and branches, and jagged leaves. Seems like every time I find a tucked away patch of staghorn sumac in SLP, there's always deer sign. Smooth sumac produces small green clusters of flowers in spring, which later in the year give way to bright-red berries that last all through the colder months. Staghorn Sumac - Rhus typhina is an attractive wood line plant with attractive fruits and a good orange fall color. In Missouri, staghorn sumac (introduced from states to our north and east) occurs along railroads, highways, and other open, disturbed areas. The fragrant sumac is very similar, but has only 3 leaflets and yellow flowers (Kindscher 1987: 191). ©Pacific Garden Design. Distribution map courtesy of the USGS Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center, originally from "Atlas of United States Trees" by Elbert L. Little, Jr. . Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina) and the Smooth Sumac (Rhus glabra). smooth sumac: R. glabra: mature plants can be 20-35 feet: hairless stem: smooth leaflet blades: finely toothed, irregularly: no wings: staghorn sumac: R. typhina: mature plants can be 20-35 feet: long hairs on stem: smooth leaflet blades: finely toothed: no wings It has large shiny dark-green pinnate leaves, each with 9 to 27 leaflets arranged in a fern-like pattern. If you find the mix you made too sharp, just dilute with cold water. This low-maintenance plant is a great addition to any garden it is also used in shelterbelts. You can see where the leaf was attached. Transplanting: Transplanting is straight forward. Edible Varieties of Sumac. I've searched this site but can find no real answers to help me distinguish between the two. The Poison Sumac has white, green or grey colored berries. Don't transplant very little ones, or really large ones. These will not turn into the edible berry clusters - those are female. In the Arabic and Islamic world, Iran is a major exporter of the crop, as well as a heavy consumer of it. To differentiate poison sumac from other common sumacs, count the number of leaflets. (By: Aha GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2), Red deer stag velvet on antler. Sumac will take some shade, but prefers full sun, and has low water requirements. One of the best examples of such look-alikes is Ailanthus altissima (Tree-of-Heaven) and two native sumacs to the region, Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac) and Rhus glabra (smooth sumac). To be safe, DO NOT touch a Sumac unless you see the red berry clusters like in the included picture below. Like anything you have never had before, make sure you have very little at first to make sure you aren't allergic. Rub the berries around with your hands, then let soak for about half an hour. Sumac’s dried, ground fruit is a common spice in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking, and the dried berries can also be used to made a lemonade-like beverage. The trunk is forked and spreading, which is the reason it provides such good cover for many animals. Most likely the one you transplant will be a root sucker from a larger one nearby, so cut that root as far from the one you are transplanting as you can. Tagged: winter interest, wildlife value, native. The leaves on sumac are toothed and pinnately compound. Don't bother with anything that looks like a Sumac if it is damp or wet in the area until you see the red berry clusters. These leaflets hang down, have serrations (teeth) along the edges and turn a radiant red or orange in the fall. Next, take the seeds and mix with some damp but not wet peat moss and put in a sealed freezer bag in the fridge - not freezer. The Poison Sumac likes very damp or wet land. The twigs on poison sumac are smooth; those on staghorn sumac … Wild Foods Home Garden Logo Copyright © 2017 David G. Mills. I use smooth sumac which is similar to staghorn except the berries are smooth without the “hairs”. I absolutely LOVE most varieties of Sumac - staghorn, smooth whatever. It doesn't matter which one - the Staghorn or Smooth Sumac, as they are the same from an eating perspective. (By: Superior National Forest Attribution 2.0 Generic), Smooth Sumac (Rhus glabra) drupe panicle (berry cluster). Because the foliage is massed towards the top of the plant, sumac can be complemented with low- to medium-height perennials and shrubs around it to provide a visual balance. Staghorn Sumac has leaves that have a hairy leaf stem and rachis, the stem that the leaflets are attached to. Geographic Distribution The fruit is fuzzy, starts green, and turns to red. Both can do well in soils that are a little acidic to neutral. In the fall the leaves turn a bright red. All Rights Reserved. Smooth Sumac (Rhus glabra) range. Part sun, part shade would be best, but if no shade where they are transplanted to, cover them from direct mid-day sun after transplanting. (NOTE: If you are not interested in growing Staghorn and Smooth Sumac, but just finding the berries, try going to the Nature's Restaurant Online site Staghorn and Smooth Sumac page.). Staghorn sumac bark is smooth, thin, dark gray, and the inner bark, which is slightly sweet to chew on, is light green. After the leaves drop, the seedheads persist through the winter, offering a bright spot of color as well as important food for wildlife. Tree of Heaven is a favored host of Spotted Lantern Fly, Lycorma delicatula. This is a well regarded ornamental, and there are different cultivars of it available at nurseries. You can also start it by seed or transplanting a small one. Rhus typhina's rust-colored seedheads persist through the winter for a striking visual display. Between 60-100 cm (2-3 feet) high is about right. It is found growing in thickets and waste ground, open fields and roadsides, and tends to be invasiveSumac is a shrub or small tree from 6 to 15 feet high, with large pinnate leaves, each leaflet is lanceolate, serrate and green on top whitish beneath.
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