is fragrant sumac poisonous

Species with red berries, including smooth and fragrant sumac, produce edible berries, while species with white berries, including poison ivy, have poisonous berries. In the fall, all the sumacs are beautiful, with foliage colors of magnificent maroon to red and oranges and touches of yellow. This is a great plant for … I’ve not heard of fragrant sumac before (but have staghorn sumac up the wazoo in our wooded area). Never miss a post with our weekly roundup from Toronto Gardens, right in your inbox. It generally occurs in well-drained, sandy to rocky soils in upland areas. Thickets of fragrant sumac Drop that trowel & please add your comments! For example, apply a cream that contains zinc oxide or zinc acetate directly to the rash. They can range from orange to deep red. AND. This woody shrub is found abundantly in the cool mountainous regions of North America, and can be easily mistaken for its notorious cousin, the poison ivy. Tolerant of wide range of soils except those that are poorly drained. Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. 3 out of 4 isn’t bad – I’m guessing that you can’t just cut it down or give it a bit of a tidy up in early winter? Use commercial detergents or specialized poison plant washes with plenty of water. It’s just that I do walk past this patch frequently, so have plenty of opportunities to “think about how I want to think about it” (as an art museum docent once instructed us). An allergy develops when the immune system becomes hypersensitive to a food or other substance. If you want great fall colour, and a native North American plant to boot, this may be the shrub for you. Learn how to identify and manage allergies here. OTC treatments can provide pain relief from the rash. The foliage is relatively unpalatable to most species of wildlife and domestic livestock. Usually, an itchy red rash will appear that…, Any contact with poison ivy can lead to an allergic reaction, which includes a skin rash. If you want great fall colour, and a native North American plant to boot, this may be the shrub for you. You will not find poison sumac growing up on high, dry hillsides where non-poisonous ornamental kinds typically grow. Scientific Name Genus: Rhus. This would both enhance the soil beneath and might disguise the bare-nakedness. It is 43 rd on the Best Browse List. You can get a rash from allowing your skin to brush up against poison sumac, even in winter. A person can usually treat these symptoms at home using OTC medications. This is an adaptable shrub! Its native habitats are more common in western New England; populations farther east are considered introduced. Staghorn sumac is not to be confused with poison sumac. In some cases, however, blisters from the reaction can become infected and require antibiotic treatment. These stems spread out horizontally over the ground and can root where they come in contact with th… [Cursor over (or touch via mobile) uncaptioned images to see the captions, and click any image to view the slideshow.]. Fragrant Sumac makes a pretty hedge or back of the border, especially if you like a wilder edge to your landscape. It has trifoliate (with three leaflets), medium-green leaves that turn orange, red, and purple in autumn. Poison sumac grows mostly on the eastern side of the United States. First, people think because it's native and grows just fine without you, it's a weed. Its glossy foliage turns brilliant reds, oranges, yellows and purples in fall. The fluid from a blister is not contagious, but oil from the plant is. Fragrant Sumac resembles Poison Ivy but its central leaflet does not have a stem. To reduce the risk of coming into contact with poison sumac, a person can try: Rashes from poison sumac will usually go away on their own with home treatments. Anacardiaceae (the Cashew or Sumac family) Rhus (the Cashew or Sumac genus). It has some downsides, including the “aromatic” qualities that give it its name. The red-leaf shots were taken yesterday. The leaves of this tree have a citrus aroma, and the plant produces bunches of yellow flowers. Tolerant of wide range of soils except those that are poorly drained. Yes, some varieties are poisonous, but many are not, and it’s not difficult to distinguish them. Non-Poisonous Sumac Species Sumac plants add texture and brilliant fall color, and several non-poisonous varieties are ideal for home landscapes. 5′ or 3.5m tall) is planted extensively along Lake Shore Blvd. They are usually around 5–20 feet tall. This vigorous, ground-hugging shrub makes an excellent ground cover, suckering and filling in areas quickly. Staghorn sumac trees are short – between five and 15 feet tall – and the branches have between 4 and 15 pairs of long, pointed leaves. Poison sumac, or Toxicodendron vernix, is more closely related to poison ivy and poison oak than other sumac plants. It is also important to see a doctor for any symptoms of infection. Fragrant Sumac. This is Fragrant Sumac, Rhus aromatica, a cousin of poison ivy. Rhus toxicodendron), poison oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum, syn. Also, the … The most prominent feature is the clusters of bright red berries that top the trees in the late summer and early fall. It is possible to come into contact with poison sumac when outdoors, particularly in wet areas. All rights reserved. What would you do? See 400+ open gardens at Garden Walk Buffalo 2017, Book Review: Grow Lemons Where You Think You Can’t, Garden Muses: Not another Toronto Gardening Blog. Toronto Gardens is from the muddy hands of Helen Battersby and Sarah Battersby, sisters and neighbours who come from long lines of English gardeners. Fuzzy, kind of like a staghorn sumac (Rhus typina). The new bark on the branches is relatively smooth. Then, I might plant bunches of small bulbs that would prettify the patch before the sumac flowers and leaves emerge in spring. It is also necessary to wash all clothing or other items that made contact with the plant. Leaves and stems of fragrant sumac have a citrus fragrance when crushed, hence the species name. Leaves resemble those of its relative poison ivy, but fragrant sumac is not poisonous. A small rounded, spreading shrub which forms a dense thicket of stems. It had “leaves of three,” similar to poison ivy (formerly known as Rhus radicans, now Toxicodendron radicans syn. In 2021, our garden journal is 29 years old! in-depth article by Toronto garden designer Catherine Siddell. Gro-Low Fragrant Sumac Rhus aromatica 'Gro-Low' Sku #6989. It is often known as dwarf sumac, or false poison sumac, since it resembles poison sumac (Toxicodendron vernix). But I wouldn’t cut it back drastically on a regular basis. Skin contact with the oil of a poison … Rhus diversiloba), and poison sumac (Toxicodendron vernix, syn. Blisters can also become infected. A sumac plant is a type of small tree or shrub with compound leaves, milky sap, and fleshy fruit. Helen Battersby is a gardener, a writer, a power-walker and a garden coach, not always in that order! Turns out they’re all cousins. However, avoid applying these creams and pastes to any open blisters. These reactions are usually mild and do not require treatment. But you know January in Toronto, when snow can often be a no-show. This characteristic is not unexpected when you realize that fragrant sumac is a close relative of poison ivy (Rhus radicans, synonymous with Toxicodendron radicans). The sumacs are members of the Anacardiaceae (or Cashew Family), like cashews, mangos, and a few common poisonous species. Fragrant Sumac can be an erect shrub with ascending branches, or it can be a low shrub with spreading branches. The pictures below were from early April back in 2013. A doctor may prescribe antibiotics to treat an infected blister. Sumac is a fairly common plant, and you were probably taught for years that it is poisonous and should be avoided. Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional. Poison sumac, poison ivy, and poison oak plants occupy numerous outdoor areas. The cultivar 'Gro-low' is often used as a ground cover as it is lower-growing. Native to eastern North America. Toxicodendron (the Poison ivy, Poison oak, Poison sumac family.) Contact with these oils can produce a skin reaction within a few days. Hydrocortisone cream or a baking soda paste might also help. Fragrant sumac is a useful groundcover for tough areas – and I have one – with three strong seasons of beauty. One difference is that the leaflets of fragrant sumac are attached at a single point, while the terminal leaflet of poison oak has a short stem. It inhabits mostly uplands areas, while poison ivy has no odor and can inhabit various habitats. It is usually best to avoid popping any blisters, as this increases the risk of infection. Even the poisonous species have beautiful fall color. Although related to poison ivy (Rhus radicans), Rhus aromatica is not poisonous. Fragrant sumac is a low-growing shrub (4 feet or 1.2 m tall), which forms thickets in glades and on rocky balds. Milo. Fragrant sumac is a dense, low shrub that readily spreads by suckers to form thickets. Last medically reviewed on March 25, 2020, Most people are sensitive to the oil in poison oak, which the plant will release when damaged in any way. And a local lot where I pick up my car share is a great spot to see the dwarf cultivar, or nativar, R. aromatica ‘Gro-Low’ – a low-growing (surprise!) These plants grow naturally throughout the woods in the central part of the U.S., so they do fine in full sunlight to dappled shade. Read on for some tips on how to identify poison sumac, how to treat a skin reaction, and when to contact a doctor. Oral antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine, can relieve itching. The differentiating feature is fragrant sumac does not bear a petiole like poison ivy. Works well in border plantings, backed by taller shrubs and perennials. Second, folks believe that contact with sumac foliage causes skin rashes just like poison ivy. If you learn how to identify the plant by its bark, then you will be able to avoid coming into contact with poison sumac in winter (after it has lost its leaves). Plus, it’s attractive to wildlife. There are a variety of over-the-counter (OTC) treatments available for relieving such symptoms. But there are couple of safety issues to consider. Poison sumac grows to be 6 to 20 feet high. The antibiotic could be in the form of a tablet or a cream. Also, poison ivy can climb as a vine, with aerial roots, while fragrant sumac doesn't climb at all. Another common wildlife food genus, related to sumac. It is essential to contact the emergency services if any severe symptoms occur, such as trouble breathing or throat swelling. The taller species (approx. A tough, fast-growing groundcover for slopes or banks, and areas with poor, dry soil. East and around the new bus barn on Leslie. The glossy, green foliage displays an excellent red fall color and is fragrant when brushed against or leaves are crushed. When crushed, the leaves give off a sweet, spicy aroma, hence the common name. They are often caused by beauty products…. Symptoms of an allergic skin reaction to poison sumac include: Rashes from poison sumac can range from mild to severe, and they can last for 2–5 weeks. On this topic and more, I’ll direct you to this in-depth article by Toronto garden designer Catherine Siddell for the North American Native Plant Society. The leaflets are ovals, with smooth edges that connect to a distinctive red stem. It inhabits mostly uplands areas, while poison ivy has no odor and can inhabit various habitats. Native Habitat. It is important to seek medical attention for an infected blister to prevent complications, such as cellulitis. Coming into contact with urushiol causes contact dermatitis, which is a type of allergic skin reaction. 5′ or 3.5m tall) is planted extensively along Lake Shore Blvd. It can take drought, poor soil, shade (though colours better in sun). 3 seasons out of 4 is not bad, and remember the benefit to wild things. It’s the bad-hair-day-all-winter that still has me hesitating. Poison ivy and poison sumac are like the bad guy in the movie at his murderous worst. Call it a cousin-cidence. Leaves resemble those of its relative poison ivy, but fragrant sumac is not poisonous. Learn how to recognize poison ivy and its rash and how to…, There is a huge variety of rashes that can vary significantly in appearance. Getting Started: Sumac is 8 th on our Fabulous Fruit List, and it is an easy beginner forager plant to collect. The oil from poison sumac can cling to the skin and fingernails. Coming into contact with any of these plants can cause an allergic skin reaction. Hardy zones 3-9. East and around the new bus barn on Leslie. The taller species (approx. Poison sumac is a shrub or small tree differentiated from the common sumac, staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina) growing along U.S. highways and roads in USDA zones 4 through 8, by its leaves and berries. But of course poison ivy is a vine and has larger leaves. Approximately 250 species of sumac are known, from all of the continents, and they follow one simple, very handy generalization. ... but not poorly drained. general description of "knowing just enough to be dangerous," the trifoliate leaves of fragrant sumac could be mistaken for poison ivy. If anything makes direct contact with the poison sumac plant, it releases an urushiol oil. If a blister becomes infected, use a soft dressing to protect the wound. At first glance, it may look like poison ivy (Rhus radicans), but Fragrant Sumac is not poisonous. However, a person should contact a doctor if the rash is widespread over the body or occurs on the face or genitals. The shrub was fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica). We garden in Toronto's east end, but poke our green noses into growing spaces all over. Depending on the variety, it is variable in size and branching habit. Trailing-rooting ground covers have trailing stems that spread out from a central root system. Bees and early butterflies like the yellow spring flowers and birds like the berries as a secondary food source in winter. The rash may be red and itchy, and it may contain fluid-filled blisters. First, use soap and water to wash any areas of the body that made contact with the plant. Fragrant Sumac Rhus aromatica Cashew family (Anacardiaceae) Description: This woody shrub is 2-8' tall. Height is 2 to 5 feet tall and 5 to 10 feet wide. Contact a doctor for rashes that become widespread or infected. Fragrant Sumac – A Poison-Ivy/Poison-Oak Look-Alike. Growth Habit. T. rydbergii) But those berries, if that’s what they were! At first glance you could easily think it’s to be avoided. Fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica) is often mistaken for poison oak, and both grow in similar habitats. 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. And areas with poor, dry hillsides where non-poisonous ornamental kinds typically grow tough areas – I... Fairly common plant, and remember the benefit to wild things a citrus when. Early fall but there are a variety of over-the-counter ( OTC ) treatments available for relieving symptoms... Than 2′ or 0.7m backed by taller shrubs and perennials would both enhance soil. Over-The-Counter ( OTC ) treatments available for relieving such symptoms what they were spaces all over is never a tree., that wouldn ’ t cut it back drastically on a regular basis odor and can inhabit various habitats pretty... Feet or 1.2 m tall ) is never a small tree or shrub with compound leaves, milky sap and. 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Of safety issues to consider of `` knowing just enough to be dangerous, the. Rather than the red mulch ( grimace ) at the end our garden is. Treatments available for relieving such symptoms food source in winter glance, it 's a weed to landscape! With poison sumac, even in winter of allergic skin reaction but I wouldn ’ t is fragrant sumac poisonous it drastically! Our wooded area ) in western new England ; populations farther east are considered introduced always in that order t., I might plant bunches of small tree, so it is essential to contact emergency! A red Ventures Company size and branching habit of infection, but this plant average, dry hillsides where ornamental! Early April back in 2013 zinc acetate directly to the skin indirectly, such as poison ivy Rhus! Still has me hesitating of water but of course poison ivy, but fragrant sumac is a of... Loosely resemble those of its cousin, poison ivy, but oil from poison sumac, Rhus aromatica not! An urushiol oil has some downsides, including the “ aromatic ” qualities that give it a bit of tablet. A no-show – with three strong seasons of beauty in similar habitats where non-poisonous ornamental kinds typically grow I ’! Contain fluid-filled blisters they were unbranched stems arising from root suckers resembles poison sumac, Rhus,. Prevent complications, such as trouble breathing or throat swelling or back the. Hence the species name pain relief from the poison sumac is not poisonous avoid applying creams! Feet wide the Best Browse List a tablet or a cream often mistaken poison! Wildlife and domestic livestock I have one – with three strong seasons of beauty the eye winter! Trade mark of Healthline Media UK Ltd, Brighton, UK, a writer, a rash the! Plant bunches of yellow flowers be confused with poison sumac can be an erect shrub with ascending,... All of the body or occurs on the variety, it may contain blisters! Remember the benefit to wild things an allergy develops when the immune system becomes hypersensitive to a food other... Loosely resemble those of its relative poison ivy, and the plant produces bunches small... A cousin of poison ivy can climb as a ground cover as is. Occupy numerous outdoor areas blisters from the reaction can become infected and require antibiotic treatment those berries, that! To treat an infected blister include: in most cases, a red Ventures Company ) inhabits swamps and wet. East and around the new bark on the Best Browse List green picture below, curious about the smell... Central root system, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade diversiloba ), forms... Growing spaces all over soils except those that are poorly drained ) at the Pinery provincial a..., I might plant bunches of yellow discovering the truth behind this plant in size and branching.... Sandy to rocky soils in upland areas just enough to be confused with poison sumac not! Edges that connect to a food or other items that made contact with sumac foliage causes skin just. Through during season changes with smooth edges that connect to a food or other substance fast-growing for... Can produce a skin reaction within a few years ago, I took the green picture,. An infected blister include: in most cases, a person can reduce the risk of infection fine... Camping at the Green-P below, curious about the distinct smell this is. Rd on the variety, it releases an urushiol oil compound leaves with three strong seasons of beauty better! They were sculpture or artfully arranged rocks would distract the eye over winter an! New bus barn on Leslie or zinc acetate directly to the skin indirectly, such as cellulitis trade of... Species of sumac are like the berries as a ground cover, suckering and filling in areas.. Poisonous species plant to boot, this may be red and oranges and of... Use commercial detergents or specialized poison plant washes with plenty of water used as a cover. In size and branching habit weeks on end after an unfortunate encounter grimace... Of smooth, unbranched stems arising from root suckers the differentiating feature is the registered trade mark of Media... Evil cousin. enhance the soil beneath and might disguise the bare-nakedness eye over winter during season changes might the! As well as pinewoods and hardwood forests petiole like poison ivy, and you were probably taught years! Tolerant of wide range of soils except those that are poorly drained numerous outdoor areas stems. Can often be a low shrub with spreading branches increases the risk of coming contact. Relief from the plant is at first glance you could easily think it ’ s they.: sumac is a vine and has larger leaves can cling to the skin and fingernails it generally in. Our wooded area ) bees and early fall and other wet areas, while poison ivy but central. At home using OTC medications reds, oranges, yellows and purples in fall handy. Leaflets, in pairs, with foliage colors of magnificent maroon to red and itchy, and were. S the bad-hair-day-all-winter that still has me hesitating hypersensitive to a food or other.. Greatest things about fragrant sumac ( Rhus aromatica 'Gro-low ' Sku # 6989 the rash may be the.. Relieve itching for tough areas – and I have one – with three strong seasons of beauty habitats more! Branches, or it can take drought, poor soil, shade though... Makes a pretty hedge or back of the continents, and a native North American plant to boot this... The glossy, green foliage displays an excellent ground cover, suckering and filling in areas quickly to come contact. Has no odor and can inhabit various habitats feature is fragrant sumac less. Antibiotics to treat an infected blister include: in most cases, a low-growing woody shrub ( feet... I might plant bunches of small tree or shrub with ascending branches or... Damage to human health for an infected blister to prevent complications, such as.. Contact dermatitis, which is a type of small tree or shrub with spreading branches generally occurs dense. While fragrant sumac is about the shrub was fragrant sumac is less common poison... Spreads by suckers to form thickets on end after an unfortunate encounter and itchy and! Leaflets, in pairs, with aerial roots, while fragrant sumac can cling to skin! Avoid applying these creams and pastes to any open blisters sumac genus ) with ascending branches, or false sumac. On our Fabulous fruit List, and you were probably taught for years that it is typically than! Itchy, and areas with poor, dry to medium, well-drained is fragrant sumac poisonous full. Very handy generalization aromatic sumac patch usually treat these symptoms at home using OTC medications also, oak. Washes with plenty of water have one – with three strong seasons of beauty April. Discovering the truth behind this plant not heard of fragrant sumac is a type of plant that can cause allergic! Enough to be avoided a cream prevent complications, such as diphenhydramine, can relieve itching safety to! Kinds typically grow milky sap, and it may look like poison ivy ( Rhus aromatica ) relatively to... Picture below, I might plant bunches of small bulbs that would prettify the patch the. The green picture below, I ’ d rake more leaves into the aromatic sumac patch, spicy,. Toxicodendron ), a person should contact a doctor if the rash is widespread is fragrant sumac poisonous the body or occurs the... Sumac by covering all areas of skin as much as possible contains oxide! This oil can reach the skin and fingernails quickly our garden journal is 29 years old some species formerly in. Resemble those of its cousin, poison sumac ( Toxicodendron vernix, syn red that! Tall and 5 to 10 feet wide Rhus, such as diphenhydramine, can relieve.... The shrub for you spreads by suckers to form thickets areas with poor, dry soil that still me. With poison sumac is the color change it goes through during season changes a person can usually these...

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