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Plant Details

Toxicodendron vernix [= Rhus vernix]

Poison Sumac

Scientific Name:

Toxicodendron vernix [= Rhus vernix]

Common Name:

Poison Sumac

Plant Family

Anacardiaceae (Cashew Family)

Native/Alien:

NC Native

Type:

Tree/Shrub

Size in Feet:

25

Light:

Sun

Soil Moisture:

Sub-Xeric(*)

Bloom Time:

May - June

Bloom Area:

Coast, southwest Mountains

Habitat Description:

In peaty habitats, in the Coastal Plain frequent in streamhead pocosins and sandhill seepage bogs, in the mountains in bogs. Rare in NC Mountains and Piedmont, uncommon in Coastal Plain and Sandhills.

State Rank:

No NC Rank Listed (*)

Global Rank:

No Global Rank listed (*)

State Status:

No NC Status Listed (*)

Federal Status:

No U.S. Status Listed (*)

Notes:

Shrub/small tree; leaves alternate, pinnately divided with 7-13 leaflets, the leaf stalk reddish; flowers small in axillary clusters; fruit a smooth, yellow drupe. Has brilliant red fall foliage.
Sap can cause contact dermatitis; all parts of the plant (except the pollen) contain the oil that causes the itchy rash. Never assume you are immune to this plant (or any of the other members of this genus, such as Poison Oak or Poison Ivy). Some folks react more to this plant than Poison Ivy or Poison Oak.

Bush

image

Tom Harville
Oct 07
Sandhills

Leaves

It doesn't have the leaves of three but let it be anyway!

image

Tom Harville

Easy to confuse with other non-poisonous sumacs

Leaves starting to turn

image

Tom Harville

Links:

USDA PLANTS Database Record

NC State Extension
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Bird-Friendly Native Plants



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