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**Botanical Features and Distribution**:
– Sumacs are dioecious shrubs and small trees in the family Anacardiaceae.
– They can reach a height of one to ten meters (3–33ft).
– Leaves are usually pinnately compound, with some species having trifoliate or simple leaves.
– Flowers are small, greenish, creamy white, or red, in dense panicles or spikes 5–30cm (2–12in) long.
– Fruits are reddish, thin-fleshed drupes covered in varying levels of hairs at maturity.
– Rhus is a genus of plants in the Anacardiaceae family with over 250 species.
– Rhus species are found in various regions, including Mpumalanga and Kruger National Park.
– Different species like Rhus typhina, Rhus glabra, and Rhus aromatica have distinct leaf architecture.

**Cultivation, Uses, and Benefits**:
– Species like fragrant sumac, littleleaf sumac, smooth sumac, and staghorn sumac are grown for ornament.
Sumac berries are used to make a tangy, crimson spice for culinary purposes.
Sumac spice adds a tart, lemony taste to salads or meat dishes.
Sumac has been used in traditional medicine for various ailments.
Sumac has been studied for its potential health benefits, including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Sumac can be used as a tisane or tea substitute and is cooked with water to create a sour paste for food dishes.
Sumac was historically used in various cultures, including Middle Eastern spice mixtures like za’atar and by Native American tribes.

**Taxonomy and Classification**:
– De Candolle proposed a subgeneric classification of Rhus in 1825.
– Rhus has been the largest genus in the family Anacardiaceae with over 250 species.
– Rhus s.s. appears monophyletic by molecular phylogeny research.
– The larger subgenus Lobadium has been divided into sections Lobadium Terebinthifolia and Styphonia.
– Taxonomists like Allison J. Miller, David A. Young, and Jun Wen have contributed to understanding Rhus phylogeny.

**Uses in Industry and Traditional Practices**:
Sumac species are used in leather manufacturing due to their high tannin content.
Sumac tannins yield flexible, light-colored leather and have been used historically for dyeing purposes.
– Sumac-dye was even used for the outerwear of the Emperor of Japan.
– Beekeepers use dried sumac bobs as fuel for smokers.
Sumac stems were historically used in Native American pipemaking.
Sumac wood fluoresces under long-wave ultraviolet radiation.

**Toxicity, Control, and Other Notes**:
Poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac produce allergens and can cause severe reactions.
– Mowing sumac is not an effective control measure; goats are efficient in removing sumac by eating the bark.
Sumac propagates through rhizomes, making root pruning a control method.
– Other spellings for sumac include sumak, soumak, and sumaq.
– Historical and cultural significance of sumac includes its use in traditional medicine, references in ancient texts, and culinary practices across different cultures.

Sumac (Wikipedia)

Sumac or sumach (/ˈsmæk, ˈʃ-/ S(H)OO-mak, UK also /ˈsj-/) is any of about 35 species of flowering plants in the genus Rhus and related genera in the cashew family (Anacardiaceae). Sumacs grow in subtropical and temperate regions throughout every continent except Antarctica and South America. Sumac is used as a spice, as a dye, and in medicine.

Temporal range: Ypresian–Recent
Sumac fruit in the autumn season
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Anacardiaceae
Subfamily: Anacardioideae
Genus: Rhus
Type species
Rhus coriaria

About 35 species; see text

    • Duckera F.A.Barkley
    • Festania Raf.
    • Lobadium Raf.
    • Melanococca Blume
    • Neostyphonia Shafer
    • Pocophorum Neck.
    • Rhoeidium Greene
    • Styphonia Nutt.
    • Sumacus Raf.
    • Thezera Raf.
    • Turpinia Raf.

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