DWARF SUMAC
File Size: 105 KB
 
Rhus copallinum  L.
Woodson County, Kansas
Height: 5-10 feet
Family: Anacardiaceae - Cashew Family
Flowering Period:   June, July
Also Called: Flame-leaf sumac, winged sumac.
Trunks: Bark gray, smooth or slightly split.
Twigs: Brown, with red lenticels, finely pubescent, becoming glabrate, brittle; buds brown, dome-shaped, hairy; leaf scars U-shaped.
Leaves: Alternate, odd-pinnately compound, 4 to 14 inches; petiole 1.2 to 2.4 inches, finely pubescent; rachis conspicuously winged between leaflets; leaflets 7-13, sessile, broadly lanceolate to oblong, 1.2 to 3.4 inches long, .6 to 1.6 inches wide, base rounded to cuneate, margins entire or sparsely toothed distally, tip obtuse, acute, or often acuminate, lower surface pale green, glabrous or sparsely hairy, upper surface dark green, shiny.
Flowers: Inflorescences pyramidal panicles, 5 to 7 inches. Sepals 5, yellowish green, ovate, ca. 1/25 inch, apex acute, moderately to densely hairy; petals 5, yellowish green, oblong, 1/16 to 1/10 inch, apex rounded; stamens 5; styles 3, short, nearly equal, sometimes connate near base.
Fruit: Drupes red, globose, 1/6 to 1/5 inch, slightly flattened, pubescent with red glandular hairs and hyaline non-glandular hairs; seed 1, olive-brown, oval to bean-shaped, smooth to slightly rough.
Habitat: Rocky, open, wooded hillsides, prairies, roadsides, and old fields
Distribution: East 1/3 of Kansas
Origin: Native
Uses: Native Americans used the fruits to make red and black dyes and used the bark and fruits medicinally.
Comments: copallinum, for the copal-like resin drops on the stem.

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