Winged Sumac
Rhus copallina
Family Anacardiaceae

* Leaves opposite compound, 6-14", with 11-23 smooth-edged, narrow leaflets.
* Twigs and leaf stalks round, velvety, with raised dots.
* Trunk smooth, dark, with many lenticels.
* Fruits dry, red, in dense spikes.
* Height: 4-10'.

Natural History:
* Flowers July - September.
* Fruits August - spring.
* Habitat: Fields, forest openings.
* Range: Eastern half of the United States.
* Native.

* Sumac berries remain on the plant throughout the winter, providing an available, but little-used, source of food.

* Sumac is unique to North America, and the first colonists sent specimens of it back to Europe. They also made a lemonade-like drink from the acidic fruits. Residents of Appalachia collected leaves and twigs and sold them to tanneries, which used these sumac parts to dye leather.

* Native Americans combined cured leaves of it with tobacco and other plants to smoke. They also used tea from sumac bark to stimulate milk flow in nursing mothers.



Created by: Allaire Diamond and Jiasuey Hsu
Maintained by: Nick Rodenhouse
Created: July 31, 1998
Last Modified: November 21, 2008