i have seen it growing on my property in amongst swamps that only the dear seem to be able to navigate. Uses For Non-Poisonous Sumac Sumac may be getting a bad rap here. The flowers of the tree are edible (for people) and contain lots of vitamin C. Im in southwestern Ontario (Canada). The plant is in the Anacardiaceae family. The sap causes the skin to blister when exposed to sunlight. Notice below that the poison sumac has white flowers in the spring, unlike staghorn sumac that has green. So, white = no; red = go. This little bush only reaches a height of 3 feet, and it is hardy in zones 5 through 7. Upright, pyramidal fruit clusters are the showiest of the sumacs. … If you’re worried about accidentally picking poison sumac berries, just remember that poison sumac berries are white , not red . 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. Poison Sumac: How to Identify It, and What to Do if You've Been Exposed. Controlling Sumac Smooth sumac, which is not toxic, grows wild in ravines, glens and prairies, in many parts of the U.S. In the fall their canopy turns a brilliant shade of red. Opening Plant Material . The sumac here is not the poisonous kind. Tiger Eyes Sumac is a cutleaf staghorn sumac selection with chartreuse leaflets changing to yellow contrasting with pink stems. And it’s from an entirely different plant family than poison sumac. Sumac (pronounced (/ ˈ sj uː m æ k /) or (/ ˈ s uː m æ k /), and also spelled sumach, sumak, soumak, and sumaq) is any one of about 35 species of flowering plants in the genus Rhus and related genera, in the family Anacardiaceae.It grows in subtropical and temperate regions throughout the world, especially in East Asia, Africa, and North America. Staghorn sumac has very fuzzy stems, hence the name staghorn. • The berries can be steeped to make tea. Bark is dark brown and smooth or scaly. The Staghorn is not poisonous at all. But the fruit stage of the Rhus sumacs and their Toxicodendron cousins—poison sumac, poison ivy and poison oak — look pretty different. The heart, when split, shows no spalting, even after that time. It is classified as an invasive species in most states. Here’s what you should remember: poison sumac has white berries that hang downward. Staghorn sumac is often used in mass plantings, for naturalizing, or on steep slopes. Or, more accurately, staghorn sumac. Staghorn sumac has bright orange or red berries growing at the edge of its stems. This is treasured for its interesting texture and form in the landscape. 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. 0. Staghorn sumac is an open land species often found on drier soils, but which may occasionally occur on low ground. It … When you find edible sumac, taste it before taking it - - put a fuzzy berry in your mouth. My chihuahua mix eats the bark off a fallen staghorn sumac at least once a day, and has shown no ill effects. This is not the case as I have found pieces laying on the ground exposed to the elements for 10 years, and only the sapwood has rotted. Edible sumacs have red berries that are held above the branches. But the non-poisonous sumac, also known as Staghorn sumac, is safe to pick. It is a species of prairies and other grasslands, old fields, roadsides, savannas and woodlands, and fencerows. The rash-causing agent, urushiol, is the same, and it causes the same rashes. Staghorn sumac should be celebrated. And for some people it is. Poison sumac (Toxicodendron vernix) has leaves somewhat similar to staghorn sumac. You can tell the difference between the two because Michaux’s has larger leaves than true poison sumac. Fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica), staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina), smooth sumac (Rhus glabra), and winged sumac (Rhus coppalinum) ripen in sequence from midsummer through early fall and are ready to collect when they are red to brown in color (depending on species) and very acidic on the tongue. Staghorn Sumac is very common, and is not poisonous to touch. Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) Originally from South East Russia and Georgia, can reach 20ft here. I always find Staghorn Sumac as having very low rot resistance. If it's good and lemony you'll know it! Poison sumac has smooth leaves. This is especially true if your skin is sensitive and comes in contact with sumac. In fact, it is most often encountered in roadside ditches and at the edges of farm fields. It is one of the last plants to leaf out in the spring with bright green leaves that change to an attractive yellow, orange, and scarlet in fall. There’s nothing like a tasty plant that just loves to … Other sumacs such as staghorn sumac, Rhus typhina, are also members of the Anacardiaceae, but don’t necessarily produce urushiol. Few trees can grow in such degraded soil like this tree can. No, the sumac that grows in Wisconsin is not poisonous; in fact the young spring shoots and the red berries that ripen in fall are edible. • You can even make sumac jelly. I checked some toxic plant sites and it isn't listed by UCDavis, Purdue University Plants Poisonous to Livestock and Pets, or by Merck Vet Manual. Harvesting Staghorn Sumac But isn't sumac poisonous? Then just break off the berry cluster and take it home! • The berries are high in vitamin C and are useful for colds, fever and scurvy. If you remember one simple saying, "Berries white, flee in fright" you will be good. Yet another name for sumac is staghorn. Note the toothed (not smooth) leaflets. The point I am trying to make here is that staghorn sumac is not poisonous! Staghorn sumac is native to the eastern parts of Canada and the U.S. By late summer it has beautiful autumn-coloured foliage and the fruit is a brilliant crimson red. But staghorn sumac is not poisonous. Fels naptha soap is often effective at removing the oils thoroughly, as is dish detergent, due to its grease-cutting properties. For this reason, it is also known as False Poison sumac. All it needs is an abandoned field, highway median or roadside ditch and it’s happy as can be. It blooms particularly around June to July, maturing from August to September. Staghorn sumac is not to be confused with poison sumac. Twigs are hairy. Michaux’s sumac (Rhus michauxii) is a dwarf sumac which looks quite a bit like its poisonous cousin. It's leaves are pinnately compound with 11 to 31 lance-shaped leaflets. Stags are adult male deers. There are at least three different types of this fruit bearing tree: Poisonous (white smooth berries), Smooth (fuzzy red berries), Staghorn (very fuzzy berry cluster). It grows to about 25 feet tall and has an irregular, open crown with a flat top. This tree is wild and in some areas of the country invasive. It has edible relatives that are similar, such as Smooth Sumac. but yes its usually in dry soil, just not always. It does become brittle with time, but that is the case to a lesser degree with redwood and cedar as well. This saying also works for the famed poison ivy. every thing said about the staghorn sumac is true, except the part about it not growing in swamps. Staghorn sumac has dentated leaves; in other words it has rough edges. It is distinguishable by its compound leaves, which turn a scarlet red color in the fall. The most widespread sumac — staghorn sumac — is non-poisonous. Poisonous sumac prefers damp, boggy areas. Staghorn sumac (R. typhina) is probably the most commonly used species in gardens. Staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina) grows just about anywhere and everywhere all across the eastern part of the United States. Poison sumac, Toxicodendron vernix, is related to the poison ivies and poison oaks, not to the other sumacs. It is found from New England south to Georgia west to Michigan, Iowa, Missouri and Mississippi. Reply. Also known as velvet sumac due to its soft, fuzzy twigs, staghorn sumac is familiar to most people. Is Staghorn Sumac Poisonous. • It was used by Native Americans to blend with tobacco. While poison sumac is rare, when you find it in its typical wetland habitat, you may find quite a bit. Become a Partner. Rhus typhina, the staghorn sumac, is a species of flowering plant in the family Anacardiaceae, native to eastern North America. It’s often found close to water courses, having escaped from gardens after its introduction in the late 19th century. Several Great Choices. Many people believe sumac is poisonous. The leaves are also serrated along the edges. California. Staghorn Sumac is more likely to be found within the eastern half in the United States. The Staghorn Sumac, growing up to 30ft. This plant prefers open uplands, edges of forests, roadsides, and old fields for habitat. Its open habit and hairy stems resemble horns on a male deer, giving staghorn sumac its name. It is relatively rare compared to the other members of the family. Staghorn Sumac berries could help make a delightful, healthful drink! Is It Poison or Therapeutic? If fact, it is rich in its contributions to the environment. The staghorn sumac in some areas will grow more like a shrub than a tree. For comparison, here is a photo of Staghorn Sumac (NOT poisonous). It gets its name from the fuzzy velvet that coats its branches, as well as its antler-like appearance in winter. The sumac is not listed as invasive: it’s just a problem. You will not find poison sumac growing up on high, dry hillsides where non-poisonous ornamental kinds typically grow. I figured that you may also have to someday figure out the difference so here is what I found to help you identify the difference (please not I am not an expert and I highly recommend that you err on the side of caution unless you are 100% sure): Where is the sumac growing? poison sumac must grow in swampy ground yes, but that dosnt mean that staghorn must grow in dry soil. The name staghorn derives from the velvety antler horns on stags. Since there are poisonous plants in the Anacardiaceae family, and since poison sumac does resemble some of the food sumacs during its foliage stage, care should be taken when foraging. This deciduous shrub likes full sun and matures to around 6' tall x 6' wide. 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. It also occurs in South Dakota, Kansas and Utah. It grows in dry soils, so you will never find Staghorn Sumac growing side by side with Poison Sumac. Yes, poison sumac does exist and no, not all sumac is poisonous. Sumac grows prolifically in many parts of the U.S. Staghorn and smooth sumac may be seen in landscapes, but are also found in woodlands and along roadsides. Sumac can be both poisonous and not. Burn sumac wood only if you are certain it is not poison sumac, and only under certain controlled circumstances. Another common wildlife food genus, related to sumac. In fact, many Staghorn sumac plants have been mistakenly taken down in the belief that they are poisonous. tall, is a perennial deciduous shrub often associated with its poisonous relative Poison Sumac. Here's the STAGHORN SUMAC TREE, Rhus typhina! Rubbing alcohol can also help dissolve the oils, though you must be careful not to wipe the area, as this can spread the oils. Regular sumac prefers drier areas.