Also known as shining sumac or … Digital Atlas of the Virginia Flora (http://www.vaplantatlas.org). Use within 1 year. Then zoom in on your state until the individual counties display in green. Ute basket weavers preferred the supple twigs of fragrant sumac for ceremonial baskets, while willow branches could be used to weave coarser working baskets. So while sumac fruit is not really a favorite wildlife food, it is an important winter survival food. Approximately 250 species of sumac are known, from all of the continents, and they follow one simple, very handy generalization.". It is a thicket-forming shrub or small tree with a spreading crown. Sumac – A Spice with Health Benefits. You might not know it, but sumac-ade (made from either smooth sumac Rhus glabra, or staghorn sumac Rhus typhina) is in fact a tasty herbal relic and beverage straight from the Iowa area of ancient times, as well as the rest of the heart of the Midwest. Smooth sumac, Rhus glabra, is the only shrub or tree that is native to all of the 48 contiguous states. Foragers in those areas should avoid sumac harvesting unless they have high confidence of their identification skills and have thoroughly familiarized themselves with the local species. Eventually the leaves will drop and the berry clusters will be left standing alone to face winter as an easily recognizable winter silhouette. Continue to 5 of 13 below. A surprising range of pigments were extracted from sumac for dyeing baskets and blankets. More recent accounts (16th - 18th century) give specifics about the uses of Sumac. The key is to look for upright, red berries, as poison varieties have drooping, white berries, which are very toxic. False poison sumac (R. michauxii) is a plant globally threatened with extinction, so it should not be harvested at all. 2015. With your hands, remove the small Sumac berries from the stems and place them in a container filled with fresh cold water. Rhus toxicodendron is the species that secretes a poisonous oil, also known as poison sumac.This plant is common in swampy regions of North America, and can be differentiated from other types by its white berries in the fall. It’s famous for its Ruby color and tangy flavor. • Tea made from either the root or leaves was used to treat diarrhea, dysentery, and mouth/throat ulcers. The red hairs on the fruits are dense, tiny, and short. The sumac gives us a fruit, the big red cone, composed of individual drupes, similar to the little drupes that make up the knobbed appearance of common raspberries and blackberries. A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants if Eastern and Central North America. The upper branches of smooth sumac are short and crooked. Add the berries to the water and use a potato masher or a spoon to crush the berries so they release their flavor. Anacardiaceae (the Cashew or Sumac family). Smooth sumac (R. glabra) is scattered statewide. But they are overall low in energy and protein (Johnson, 2000). Exposed to rain and snow over time, some nutrients are washed away. Martin, A.C., Zim, H.S., Nelson, A.L. If a portion of a branch, leaves and berry cluster are harvested as one, the branch can be set up in a durable, weighted, dry vase and allow the birds to forage the berries off the plant at will. American Wildlife and Plants: A Guide to Wildlife Food Habits. Berries are fleshy and often juicy and typically have many seeds. c/o Virginia Botanical Associates, Blacksburg. Location: Arkansas - … Roots were boiled to extract an antiseptic applied to wounds and ulcers. Poison sumac – which grows in the Eastern US — has white or gray berries, where edible sumac has red, brown, purple or maroon fruit. Or if they are moist from weather, you can air dry them for 1 week in a paper bag and then store them in a glass airtight container at room temperature. (1951). Does this lend itself to being a good enrichment item? This beautiful seed is packed with vitamins and minerals, and the flavorful spice is used as a lemony zest, enhances food, makes a medicinal tea, or used according to traditional symbolic folklore. This juice is made from either the staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina) or smooth sumac (Rhus glabra). Leaf Description: The large leaf is made up of 31 leaflets that are toothed. You might not know it, but sumac-ade (made from either smooth sumac Rhus glabra, or staghorn sumac Rhus typhina) is in fact a tasty herbal relic and beverage straight from the Iowa area of ancient times, as well as the rest of the heart of the Midwest. I love the brilliant red-orange leaves which start to turn from green into color just at the time the berries ripen. Fruit Size: Each berry within the larger fruit cluster is about 1/8 inch (3.5 mm), round, red and velvety. Sumac bushes grown and used in many parts of the world, especially in the Middle East, North America and Africa are grown in large areas. Each berry contains a single hard, gray-brown, pointy egg-shaped seed within. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. Wearing disposable or washable gloves, run or crush a leaf of Tree-of-Heaven in your through hand—gloved so in case it is poison sumac you will not have skin contact. Some other popular variations include the staghorn sumac, African sumac, smooth sumac and fragrant sumac. Here’s how you can make it: Step 1: ... Just grab a big bowl of cold water, throw the berries in there, crush them with your hands and let them sit for a good 10 to 15 minutes. Approximately 250 species of sumac are known, from all of the continents, and they follow one simple, very handy generalization. Sumac is 8th on our Fabulous Fruit List, and it is an easy beginner forager plant to collect. The flowers, which range from green to white, are arranged in upright clusters called drupes. These are early season berries. Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/ [2016, December 21]. Nutrition: Smooth sumac berries probably have their peak nutrition shortly after they ripen, even though you can harvest them into winter. Smooth sumac often grows in stands and seems to like sunny banks. Not only do the dried and ground berries of the edible Rhus species add wonderful lemony flavor to meat and vegetable dishes, research suggests that food-grade sumac may also be good for you. Once the sumac lemonade is flavored to your liking, pour it through a strainer or cheesecloth to remove the berries. For more information, see References & Citations, © 2020 Wildfoods 4 Wildlife - Website by Clayton Hamshar, winged all along the main axis of the leaf, Upright clusters of fuzzy, pea-size round red fruits, About 30 leaflets per leaf and will have a terminal leaflet straight out the tip of the leaf. before straining. Also ensure that you don’t pick the Sumac cones immediately after rain since it tends to wash away the flavor. Yes! Smooth sumac is also called “scarlet sumac” and “common sumac.” Staghorn sumac is also known as “velvet sumac.” Hairy twig of Staghorn sumac . It is useful for controlling erosion and is sometimes used as a roadside planting for this purpose. Naitve Americans also used sumac leaves in the smoking mixture call kinninkinick. For lemonade I pick the good berries from each head, pour room-temp water over them, mash with a large spoon (I use a potato masher), and steep about 15-30 min. Remember that all edible sumac berries are red and you will never have a problem misidentifying them. A large, open, irregular, spreading shrub which typically grows 8-15' tall and spreads by root suckers to form thickets or large colonies in the wild. They grow in clusters that are quite distinct from the berry clusters of nonpoisonous sumacs (Rhus typhina, for example), in terms of color, shape, and texture. If you indeed do have poison sumac in your county, spend some time doing additional research with the resources listed below until you feel more comfortable with identification, so you don’t come home from foraging scratching a budding rash. Juice extracted from roots was believed to cure warts. National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association, St. The First Nation civilization and major economic center known as Cahokia, an extensive city and network of commerce among many ancient peoples in the Midwest, had quite the reach and influence all along the Mississippi River – including the Upper Mississippi area … In the Arabic and Islamic world, Iran is a major exporter of the crop, as well as a heavy consumer of it. Rhus glabra, called smooth or white sumac, can … But identifying sumacs by foliage alone is harder. They will retain more of their nutritive value, though, if they remain dry. Usually dispatched within 6 to 10 days. The ancient herb sumac—made from ruby-colored berries that are ground into a beautiful, coarse powder that bursts with color and flavor—has been underappreciated in American cooking (if you immediately thought of poison ivy, you’re wrong!) However, you won’t find it lauded too much on the most popular websites, herbals, or materia medicas out there compared to wonders like goldenseal, echinacea, or ginseng – nor are supplements and tinctures of it too easy to come by. I use smooth sumac which is similar to staghorn except the berries are smooth without the “hairs”. Smooth sumac (Rhus glabra) is similar to staghorn sumac but not as hairy. Ripe sumac has a dark velvet color. Poison sumac does not have red berries like the edible sumac varieties, and it is not common in Kentucky. There are other varieties, which I … Rhus glabra, commonly called smooth sumac, is a Missouri native, deciduous shrub which occurs on prairies, fields, abandoned farmland, clearings and along roads and railroads throughout the State. Smooth sumac and fragrant sumac have always been conspicuous in the fall, but now they seem more apparent to me. The three poisonous plants all have white-yellow berries, while the food sumacs you are seeking have red fruits. Smooth sumac Rhus glabra, vintage engraved illustration Fresh Sumac leaves and berries on white Trousset encyclopedia 1886 - 1891 Rhus glabra est pulchra emblemata hortum herba cuius folia verto rubro aut flavo in autumno. The leaf edges of poison sumac are smooth, while those of the edible eastern sumacs are toothed. Smooth or Red sumac around the Great Lakes area grows in clumps of wide-spreading shrubby plants, like this one, whose bloom head is just beginning to turn to a spike of berries that will be covered by a reddish haze of fine hairs.The Ojibwe name for this plant is Makibug.Its botannical name is Rhus glabra, meaning smooth-barked sumac.. Hybridization occurs frequently, resulting in intermediate characteristics. Johnson, Kathleen A. Navajo used fermented berries to create an orange-brown dye, while a different extraction from berries produced red. The leaves themselves alternate along the branch. The moisture content of sumac is very low, so they are not likely to mold if kept in an airtight jar in the refrigerator. £11.99 £ 11. Sometimes confused with Poison sumac (Toxicodendron vernix), the staghorn, smooth, and winged sumacs that grow throughout the US are actually all edible – and quite delicious! Compound leaves are shiny dark green on top and almost white on the undersides. Most common sumac; a large shrub or small tree. I use about six heads per half gallon. In the fruit stage, poison sumac has white berries that hang dangling downward, while the flower and fruit clusters of all the Rhus species are orange to red and stand upward in tight clusters. Both glabra and trilobata have rhizomes that send up young stems and this form of asexual reproduction produces clones of sumac. 3 cups cooked navy beans 1 cup onion, chopped 1 (or more) clove garlic, chopped 1/2 cup pork crackling (for a meat version) Winged Sumac. One of the easiest shrubs to identify throughout the year, smooth sumac has a spreading, open form growing up to 15 feet tall. We’re here to fix that. Identifying characteristics: Stem Woody shrub, 5-15 feet high, more or less bent, many straggling, large spreading branches, large pith, thin with smooth grayish bark with occasional reddish tint and small scattered … It is found in Dinwiddie, Brunswick and Nottoway counties of Virginia (especially in and around the Ft. Pickett area) as well as North Carolina and Georgia. The new bark on the branches is relatively smooth. The red berries contain hard seeds. That being said, there are some people who have allergies to the cashew family generally (cashews, mangoes, pistachios), and if you have these sensitivities, then you should avoid handling ANY of the Rhus species. Sumac species are dioecious, meaning that a plant is either male or female. Interspersed throughout the bush are cones of petite red berries that add a wonderful splash of color . Winged sumac (Rhus copallinum) has wings! (Burrows, G.E. The taste is reminiscent of paprika but with more of the tangyness associated with sumac. See the narrow wing-like protrusions along the stem between the leaflets? Smooth sumac, or Rhus glabra, is a relative, but it doesn’t have any of the same problems, and is most easily distinguished by serrated edges on the leaves and red, upright berries. This chart may help you identify species: Caution: The milky sap of Rhus spp. They had deepened in color, and touching a finger to a berry (and tasting it) indicated that they were definitely ripe - and pucker you up sour! I have written several posts on staghorn sumac, by far the most common of the red-berried shrubs in this area but by no means the only edible variety.When I accidentally stumbled upon another variety, rhus glabra or smooth sumac, I was interested in finding out just what the differences between the two types is. 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