Fragrant sumac Wildlife

FRAGRANT SUMAC

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Rhus aromatica Aiton var. serotina (Greene ) Rehder
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Shrub
Height: 2-8 feet
Family: Anacardiaceae - Cashew Family
Flowering Period: April, May
Also Called: Skunk bush, polecat bush.
Stems: Many stems from single base; branches ascending, slender, glabrous to minutely-hairy; bark dark reddish-brown.
Leaves: Alternate, stalked, 3-foliolate, 1 to 3 inches long, 1.2 to 2.8 inches wide, yellowish-green to bluish-green, glabrous to sparsely hairy on lower surface; leaflets variable, nearly sessile, egg-shaped to rhomboid; margins scalloped or with rounded teeth; terminal leaflet largest, fan-shaped, 3-7-lobed; tips rounded or blunt.
Inflorescences: Clusters of small flowers, head-like or irregular, rounded, terminal.
Flowers: Staminate and pistillate flowers on different plants or with some perfect flowers; flowers less than 1/10 inch broad, pale yellow; stalks short; sepals 5, united at base; petals 5, usually hairy on inner surface; stamens 5; anthers small, yellow. The flowers open before the leaves or with the unfolding leaves.
Fruits: Drupe. spherical, 1/5 to 1/4 inch in diameter, bright red, densely long-hairy, containing single nutlet; nutlet oval or bean-shaped, about 1/6 inch long, smooth, reddish-brown.
Habitat: Prairie ravines, rocky wooded hillsides, glades; sandy or gravelly soils.
Distribution: Throughout Kansas.
Uses: Native Americans applied a poultice of the roots to boils and mixed the leaves with tobacco to smoke. The leaves were also used in treatments of colds. The fruits were used to treat toothaches and the flu. During the winter, small mammals, turkeys, grouse, robins, and flickers eat the seeds and rabbits and mice eat the bark. The thickets provide wildlife cover.
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Part 2

2012-11-13 08:39:45 by Nurseryman75

In North America, the Smooth Sumac (R. glabra) and the Staghorn Sumac (R. typhina) are sometimes used to make a beverage termed "sumac-ade," "Indian lemonade" or "rhus juice". This drink is made by soaking the drupes in cool water, rubbing them to extract the essence, straining the liquid through a cotton cloth and sweetening it. Native Americans also used the leaves and drupes of the Smooth and Staghorn Sumacs combined with tobacco in traditional smoking mixtures.
Species including the Fragrant Sumac (R. aromatica), the Littleleaf Sumac (R. microphylla), the Skunkbush Sumac (R. trilobata), the Smooth Sumac and the Staghorn Sumac are grown for ornament, either as the wild types or as cultivars


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