WILL IT BE A RAINY DAY?
FEMALE SUMAC FLOWER
STAGHORN SUMAC BUSH
Thursday, 7:30 AM. 56.5 degrees, wind W, calm. The sky is overcast and it is raining lightly, which may curtail our painting project.
The staghorn sumac, Rhus typhina, is a large shrub or small tree native to rocky places and poor soil throughout much of North America. It is very aggressive and can’t be used in small landscapes but it is beautiful in all seasons in its natural habitat. Smooth sumac, R. glabra, is very similar. Many species of Rhus are poisonous, such as poison ivy, poison sumac and poison oak, but the poisonous and non-poisonous species are not likely to be confused. The bark and berries of both staghorn and smooth sumac have been much used in tanning and dyeing, and the bark and berries often used in herbal medicine for their astringent qualities (similar uses in both European and Indian cultures). The berries make a pleasant cold tea, and have been used to flavor meats. Male and female flowers are borne on different plants, so some shrubs bear the fuzzy red fruits and some do not.