SCIENTIFIC NAME: Rhus
COMMON NAME(S): Sumacs
FAMILY: ANACARDIACEAE - Cashew family
ORIGIN: North America, southern Africa, East Asia and northeast Australia, about 200 spp.
HABITAT: Woods, cultivated landscapes
LEAVES: Alternate, featherlike, simple, or palmately divided
FLOWERS: Very small, usually of one sex only on plant, borne on spikes or branched-clusters from the ends of the branches or the leaf axils
FLOWERING SEASON: Spring, summer
FRUITS: Fleshy, 1-seeded, round or oblong, hairy, usually red
ALLERGENIC PRINCIPLES: Oleoresins, phenolic compounds
ALLERGENIC PROPERTIES: Dermatological
COMMENTS: A number of Rhus species have caused contact dermatitis in humans, especially individuals highly sensitive to poison ivy. Common species in the southeastern United States include Staghorn sumac (R. typhina L.), Running sumac (R. copallina L.) and Smooth sumac (R. glabra L.).