The stalk of the compound leaf is reddish. Staghorn Sumac, like many of our favorite edibles, is technically classified as a weed! and a good orange fall color. However, poison oak is found in New Jersey and in all the states to the south of Pennsylvania, and of course, plants don’t recognize borders, so it’s a fair bet that you could find poison oak in some parts of the state if you looked hard enough. Poison sumac has a thick trunk, and sturdy branches, so many people think of it as a tree. Do I stand corrected? I live in Saylorsburg PA, Hi Barbara, I think you are largely correct. Most of Pennsylvania seems to be missing poison oak. Staghorn sumac has dentated leaves; in other words it has rough edges. 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). Another key difference between staghorn sumac and poison sumac is the leaves. BUT it needs /works best to be applied to dry skin before you try to wash with soap and water, so having it on hand ahead of time and reading the directions first can be very helpful. Can you take a photo of your plant and email to me at How do i get rid of the plants? Sumacs are plants from the genus Rhus that grow around the world, with over a dozen true sumac species in North America. ); the leaves of staghorn sumac plants … Also, be aware the oils can get on clothes and continue to be irritating whenever touched again (such as when doing laundry). Hi Tom, I have read that in Pennsylvania poison oak is not native there. What is this Jelly-like Blob Under My Dock? By contrast, poison sumac tends to be a solitary plant of the swamps. It grows in many parts of the world – in North America, Europe, Middle East and the Mediterranean. But the plants are probably not trying to irritate your skin. Can you email photos to Staghorn sumac parts were used in similar medicinal remedies. Hi Carrie, Thanks for writing. 🙂. Birds had likely spread the seeds across the road. The house is in Athens NY in the Hudson Valley. The fruits are generally red. As for how to get rid of them, that’s beyond my expertise. Staghorn and smooth sumac have more than 13 leaflets, and the leaflets have a serrated edge. Staghorn and smooth sumac have more than 13 leaflets, and the leaflets have a serrated edge. In any event, they can all make you miserable, so avoid them if you can. Trivia: Also, people can be allergic to sumac, just like everything else. Smooth sumac occurs in open woods, brushy areas along roadsides, and fencerows. Common Name: staghorn sumac, velvet sumac, Rhus hirta, scarlet sumac, upland sumac Family: Anacardiaceae Genus: Rhus Latin Name: Rhus typhina The staghorn sumac in some areas will grow more like a shrub than a tree. So, when poison sumac is found in an out-of-the-way location, it’s best left alone to … Is that a poison ivy or sumac? So I think you’re okay. Send your photo to, in high resolution, if possible. To differentiate poison sumac from other common sumacs, count the number of leaflets. Both plants can grow together and may be difficult to tell apart. It has compound leaves with 7-13 smooth-edged leaflets, as shown in figure 1. I did find one range map that shows it in the southeast corner of PA. Poison sumac is not likely to grow in the same places as staghorn sumac. Physical Characteristics Look for a 5 to 20 ft (1.5 to 6.1 m) shrub or tree. Poison sumac is in the same genus as Eastern poison-ivy, Western poison-ivy, Eastern poison-oak, and Western poison-oak, which means it’s closely related to them. Poison sumac is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3b through 8b. Poison sumac is not that common, and mostly grows in swamps. But if you send some good photos of the leaves, I can probably tell you if it’s poison sumac. It grows to about 25 feet tall and has an irregular, open crown with a flat top. 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. Staghorn Sumac is a member of the Anacardiaceae, the Sumac or Cashew family. A quick tip: Since the irritating urushiol is an oil, cleaning any skin that was touched by the oil with a great degreaser can prevent or at least minimize a reaction. But you can't blame them for assuming that. Some people report a sensitivity to all sumacs, so it’s a good idea to wear gloves and long clothing if you’re going to remove them. The Ojibwa took a decoction of fragrant sumac root to stop diarrhea. College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. However, its berries grow in dense clustered spikes rather than the looser arrangement found in poison sumac. Your email address will not be published. Staghorn sumac trees are short – between five and 15 feet tall – and the branches have between 4 and 15 pairs of long, pointed leaves. 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. I have an acre of property and most of it is wooded. To be safe, DO NOT touch a Sumac unless you see the red berry clusters like in the included picture below. "This latter genus ialso ncludes a sumac impostor that does cause rashes, poison sumac (T. vernix). But can you send a photo to Most likely they produce urushiol to fend off sap-sucking insects. Several Great Choices The most popular sumacs for landscape use are winged, staghorn, and smooth sumac, either the native wild species or specially-bred cultivated varieties such as the golden leaf “Tiger Eye” sumac. Required fields are marked *, 1,242,604 Spambots Blocked by Simple Comments, Designed by Elegant Themes | Powered by WordPress. If you could take some good pictures of the trees you think might be poison sumac, I might be able to tell you. And it is a strange one, with big berries that turn purple. Poison sumac, sometimes also called thunderwood, is a type woody shrub that belongs to the same family of plants as poison ivy. When biologists use DNA sequences to figure out the relationships between the plants in the genus Toxicodendron, the relationships between Eastern poison-ivy, Toxicodendron radicans, Western poison-ivy, Toxicodendron rydbergii, Eastern poison-oak, Toxicodendron pubescens, and Western poison-oak, Toxicodendron Don’t confuse the sumac spice with poison sumac. Poison sumac is only found in the eastern half of the country. Tree of Heaven Ailanthis altissima has flower clusters that cascade out and down from the center. What time of year can I see monarchs in Mexico? To differentiate poison sumac from other common sumacs, count the number of leaflets. Also known as velvet sumac due to its soft, fuzzy twigs, staghorn sumac is familiar to most people. Hi Gaynell, Poison sumac does not have thorns. Staghorn Sumac is a native to Ohio and a great naturalizer plant. There are 250 geniuses of Sumac which can grow anywhere from four to 35 feet in size. They are closely related and both are highly variable. I am the founder and main writer of Also, it’s very hard to tell poison oak from poison ivy. The poison sumac plant is categorized as a deciduous shrub, but it can grow quite tall. The stems are densely pubescent with a firm white pith. The berries are NOT edible. Not Poison Sumac. After all, until recently sumac, poison ivy, and poison oak were all classified under the same genus, Rhus.Then wiser minds prevailed and poison ivy and oak were moved to a different genus, Toxicodendron, which is Latin for "poison tree. Know what you are looking for, before foraging. The lack of “hair” on the white fruit, or stems, and the smooth-edged leaves on poison sumac are a good way to tell the difference between Poison Sumac and Staghorn Sumac ( … I familiarized myself with Poison Sumac of course prior to looking for the Staghorn and Smooth Sumac. Staghorn sumac is not to be confused with poison sumac. They all produce urushiol, the oil that causes such an agonizing allergic reaction. The Staghorn and Smooth Sumac likes well drained hilly areas, though they are often by water - just not in standing water or soaked land. This tree is wild and in some areas of the country invasive. Why are These Yellow Jackets Dying in My Garage? Staghorn sumac has similar leaf arrangement to poison sumac but it has fuzzy fruit and stems. 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. Although it shares the same name as sumac spice, the two belong to different plant genera and share very few similarities. Rhus typhina, velvet or staghorn sumac of the Anacardiaceae family, to which mango, cashews and poison ivy all belong. What It Is. The buds are small and sit above a large heart-shaped leaf scar.Â, Both plants can grow together and may be difficult to tell apart. Tecnu is an inexpensive OTC product found in many pharmacies that works well for urushiol (including skunk spray!). Sumac is in the same family as both of those plants. It is a shrub which can grow to several metres in height. It's leaves are pinnately compound with 11 to 31 lance-shaped leaflets. Winged sumac occurs in glades, upland prairies, savannas, openings of upland forests, and open disturbed areas. Other sumacs such as staghorn sumac, Rhus typhina, are also members of the Anacardiaceae, but don’t necessarily produce urushiol. Very useful and informative, thank you. The Poison Sumac likes very damp or wet land. One of the few easy ways to tell them apart for sure is that poison ivy berries are smooth, and poison oak berries are fuzzy. The Short Answer: Poison sumac is a large shrub or small tree found in wet areas. In Missouri, staghorn sumac (introduced from states to our north and east) occurs along railroads, highways, and other open, disturbed areas. Tree of Heaven is an invasive and extremely aggressive in growth and proliferation. Your email address will not be published. I have been getting a number of images of a strange looking plant asking if it is poison sumac. But that may be because it’s covered in poison ivy instead. This was my first impression when coming upon either Staghorn or Smooth Sumac. The pictures look very close. It’s not clear why people are so susceptible to urushiol. However, like Eastwood’s good side in the movie, these same species can sooth us as we drive by on the freeway in a race to wherever. I have pics of Giant Hogweed if you’d like them. Also, where do you live? Posted by Tom of | Jun 17, 2010 | Plants, Questions and Answers, Uncategorized | 17 |. Despite the name, poison sumac is included with species including poison oak and poison ivy in the Toxicodendron genus. Also, you can count the leaves. Whats the best thing to get rid of poison sumac? Tree of Heaven is an invasive and extremely aggressive in growth and proliferation. If fact, it is rich in its contributions to the environment. The Natchez used the root of fragrant sumac to treat boils. Could some of the small trees near the damp area be poison sumac? In fact, many wildlife species will eat berries of poison sumac without contracting the same itchy rash most humans will suffer by just touching the plant! Do We Replace Our Cells Every 7 or 10 years? Phytolacca americana. Many people believe staghorn sumac is poisonous. In this video, you will learn the difference between Staghorn Sumac and Smooth Sumac. Poison sumac leaves have smooth edges (don’t touch to find out! Do you mean to get rid of the plants or get rid of the itching rash? Poison Ivy, poison oak and poison sumac are all related to the edible kind of sumac, but all look different. Does poison sumac have white flowers and is thorny? You need to be aware of this when you eat sumac for the first time. There is poison ivy everywhere in the woods. Poison sumac typically … I’ve had many very severe and widespread reactions to ivy and oak, so I don’t want to take a chance removing it myself, if it is indeed sumac. An allergy to mangoes or cashews indicates that you are likely to also have an allergy to sumac. The leaflets of poison sumac have smooth margins; those of staghorn sumac are toothed. Poison sumac, while it looks more like the harmless staghorn sumac than it does its poison ivy and poison oak relatives, is actually more closely related to its itchy family members. The leaves are pinnately compound but are smooth with no teeth. Tree of Heaven vs. Sumac: How can you tell the difference? Gunk hand degreaser used by mechanics may also work well. The fruit is fuzzy, starts green, and turns to red., Red flowers suggests staghorn sumac, not poison sumac. Poison sumac, while it looks more like harmless staghorn sumac than like poison-ivy and poison-oak, is actually more closely related to its three-leafed poisonous relatives. Sumac’s dried, ground fruit is a common spice in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking, and the dried berries can also be … 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). Preschoolers: “What do we call this crazy swimming creature?”, Sumac relatives | Makulita - [...] Ask a » How do you identify Poison Sumac?Jul 17, 2011 … I often hear people referring to…. Yes, there is poison sumac (Toxicodendron vernix), which will definitely cause a rash that is worse than poison ivy (poison sumac is found only in swamps). The Anacardiaceae includes cashew, mango, pistachio, and the “poisonous” plants so painfully familiar to North Americans. You will not find poison sumac growing up on high, dry hillsides where non-poisonous ornamental kinds typically grow. Poison sumac has smooth leaves. The berries, roots, inner bark, and leaves of smooth and staghorn sumac were used to make dyes of various colors. It is a shrub which can grow to several metres in height. Mostly they involve pulling the plants out by the roots after taking precautions to make sure you don’t expose your skin to the poison ivy oil. And part of the property is damp clay swamp. The fruit is white. However, the flowers can really help if you want to keep (Sumac… Poison Sumac. I have a red stemmed vine with 5 green leaves in a cluster, has galls on it, growing and sticking around my deck. Poison sumac likes a very wet, swampy habitat, whereas staghorn sumac prefers dry ground. While poison sumac is related to the variety of sumac that is consumed as a … The leaves on sumac are toothed and pinnately compound.Â, The bud is surrounded by the leaf scar. Â. Poison Sumac. And the flowers are greenish. Sumac Spice vs. Check the leaf count. Sharing a genus with poison sumac (Rhus vernix) has unnecessarily blackballed staghorn sumac (R. typhina) from inclusion in many landscape plans. If there are more than 13 leaflets on a stem, it’s not poison sumac. But staghorn sumac is not poisonous. Sure. Poison ivy can grow as a vine, but poison sumac always grows as a bush or tree. Poison sumac has up to 13 leaflets on the compound leaf, 6 pairs and one at the end. The twigs on poison sumac are smooth; those on staghorn sumac are covered in tiny hairs. Birds and bears eat the berries of poison sumac, poison-ivy, and poison-oak and expose themselves to the leaves with no sign of harm. Staghorn sumacs like to grow together in big groups. Someone above asked what helps get rid of the rash, and I have found that Chickweed Salve is very good for that, you can find it on amazon and it soothes/heals Sumac, Poison Oak, Ivy, Red Ant, and other Insect bites. 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. More Info: Poison sumac, Toxicodendron vernix, is part of the large Anacardiaceae plant family. In fact, on a single plant of either species you can sometimes have smooth leaves that look ivy-like, and other leaves that look oak-like. diversilobum, the relationships are not clear, which suggests that there has been significant hybridization between them over time. Poison Sumac is not so prevalent in the Piedmont region of NC and is even less so in the Mountains.

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