PLANT PROFILE

 

NAME: Staghorn Sumac

LATIN NAME / FAMILY:  Rhus typhina / Anacardiaceae

OTHER COMMON NAME(S): 

CONDITIONS: sun-partial shade
 

PARTS:

EDIBLE cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520

TASTE

RAW/COOK

SEASON

All

 

 

 

 

Shoots

 

 

 

 

Leaves

       

Stalk/Stem

 

 

 

 

Buds

       

Flowers

 

 

 

 

Fruits

cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520

lemon

RAW/DRY

Summer/Fall

Pods

 

 

   

Seeds

 

 

 

 

Nuts

 

 

 

 

Roots

 

 

 

 

Bark

 

 

 

 

 

PORTION: small

 

COMMENT: Fruit soaked in cold or warm water makes a native lemonade. Sieve to remove irritating hairs.// Berry cooked and used in pies etc. The fruit is rather small and with very little flesh, but it is produced in quite large clusters and so is easily harvested. When soaked for 10 - 30 minutes in hot or cold water it makes a very refreshing lemonade-like drink (without any fizz of course). The mixture should not be boiled since this will release tannic acids and make the drink astringent.(1)

 

CAUTION:  Berries must be red-ripe; white sumac berries are very toxic. (4) When making lemonade, sieve any liquid through cheesecloth, handkerchief, or other fabric to remove sumac hairs, otherwise liquid could irritate the throat. // There are some suggestions that the sap of this species can cause a skin rash in susceptible people, but this has not been substantiated.(1) Anyone with known allergies to any member of the Cashew Family should avoid consuming sumac.(6)

 

NUTRITION/MEDICINAL:  Minor traces of vitamins and antioxidants (4) Antihaemorrhoidal;  Antiseptic;  Astringent;  Blood purifier;  Diuretic;  Emetic;  Galactogogue;  Poultice;  Stomachic;  Tonic;  VD;  Warts.(1)

 

LOOK-A-LIKES:  

 

POISONOUS LOOK-A-LIKES:  Poison sumac bush, but it has no fruit. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxicodendron_vernix

 

OTHER USES: All parts of the staghorn sumac, except the roots, can be used as both a natural dye and as a mordant. The plant is rich in tannins and can be added to other dye baths to improve light fastness. The leaves may be harvested in the summer and the bark all year round.(3) Dye;  Hedge;  Hedge;  Ink;  Mordant;  Musical;  Oil;  Pipes;  Shelterbelt;  Soil stabilization;  Tannin;  Wood. The leaves are rich in tannin, up to 48% has been obtained in a controlled plantation. They can be collected as they fall in the autumn and used as a brown dye or as a mordant. The bark, especially the root bark, and the fruits are also very rich in tannin. A yellow dye can be obtained from the roots. An orange dye can be obtained from the inner bark and central pith of the stem, mixed with bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis). A black ink can be made by boiling the leaves and the fruit.(1)

 

SOURCE LINKS (may include nutritional and medicinal info, plus other uses):

  1. https://pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Rhus+typhina
  2. http://www.eattheweeds.com/sumac-more-than-just-native-lemonade
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhus_typhina
  4. http://www.foragingtexas.com/2008/08/red-sumac.html (good photos)
  5. https://www.edibleeastend.com/2012/08/09/harvest-sumac
  6. http://www.aihd.ku.edu/foods/smooth_sumac.html