borealforest.org

 
BACK

Shrub Species of the World's Boreal Forests

World Boreal Trees

GLOSSARIES
Terminology | Pictorial

   
Toxicodendron vernix
Poison Sumac
Anacardiaceae (Cashew Family)

A poisonous narrow-crowned shrub or small tree, growing to a height of 7.6 m and a diameter of 15 cm.

Poison Sumac Description

Distinguishing Features - Leaves: pinnate, compound, 18 - 30 cm long; reddish axis with 5 to 13 leaflets 6 - 9 cm long; in pairs except at end; ovate or elliptical; without teeth; short-stalked; colouration: shiny dark green above, paler and somewhat hairy underneath; turning a dramatic scarlet or orange in autumn. Bark: grayish to black; thin, smooth or slightly grooved. Branchlets: reddish when young, turning gray with orange dots; essentially hairless. Flowers: 3 mm long; with 5 greenish petals; many, in long, open, clusters; male and female on same or separate plants; appearing early summer. Fruit: 6 mm wide; rounded and slightly flat; whitish, single-seeded with a shiny, wax coating; numerous, in drooping branched clusters; maturing early autumn, often remain attached through winter.

Habitat

Quebec and Maine south to Florida, west to Texas, and north to Minnesota; mostly confined to coastal plains and Great Lakes region; in wet soil conditions; swamps, marshes and flooded areas; also shaded hardwood forests.

Notes

The Poison Sumac is one of North America's most dangerous plants. Its sap is very toxic and causes a rash upon contact. The fruit is not toxic to birds or animals; it is eaten by birds and small mammals.

Return to Top of Page



Home | Forest Capital of Canada | About Our Website |
Ontario's North (West) Forest | Boreal Forests of the World | North (West) Forest Industry |
World Links and Resources | "Forest Finder" Search Engine | Educational Resources |
What's Happening | Contacts | Site Map |