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sumach(sho͞o`măk, so͞o`–), common name for some members of the Anacardiaceae, a family of trees and shrubs native chiefly to the tropics but ranging into north temperate regions and characterized by resinous, often acrid, sap. The sap of certain of these plants—especially poison ivypoison ivy,
and poison sumac,
woody vines and trailing or erect shrubs of the family Anacardiaceae (sumac family), native to North America.
..... Click the link for more information. and related species of the New World genus Toxicodendron—contains an essential oil that can cause dermatitis. In these and other species the sap is also a major source of tannin, e.g., the quebrachoquebracho
, name for a tanning substance and for the trees from which it comes, chiefly the red quebracho, or quebracho colorado (Schinopsis lorentzii), of the family Anacardiaceae (sumac family).
..... Click the link for more information. tree of Paraguay, the lacquerlacquer,
solution of film-forming materials, natural or synthetic, usually applied as an ornamental or protective coating. Quick-drying synthetic lacquers are used to coat automobiles, furniture, textiles, paper, and metalware.
..... Click the link for more information. tree of SE Asia, and the terebinthterebinth
or turpentine tree,
small deciduous tree (Pistacia terebinthus) of the family Anacardiaceae (sumac family), native to the Mediterranean region.
..... Click the link for more information. or turpentine tree and the masticmastic,
resin obtained from the small mastic tree Pistacia lentiscus (of the sumac family), found chiefly in Mediterranean countries. When the bark of the tree is injured, the resin exudes in drops. It is transparent and pale yellow to green in color.
..... Click the link for more information. trees of the Mediterranean area. The pistachiopistachio
, tree or shrub (of the genus Pistacia) of the family Anacardiaceae (sumac family). The species that yields the pistachio nut of commerce is P. vera, native to SW Asia.
..... Click the link for more information. , cashewcashew
, tropical American tree (Anacardium occidentale) of the family Anacardiaceae (sumac family), valued chiefly for the cashew nut of commerce. The tree's acrid sap is used in making a varnish that protects woodwork and books from insects.
..... Click the link for more information. , and mangomango
, evergreen tree of the Anacardiaceae (sumac family), native to tropical E Asia and now grown in both hemispheres. The chief species, Mangifera indica, is believed to have been cultivated for about 6,000 years. It was introduced into Brazil by Portuguese colonists.
..... Click the link for more information. provide important foods both for local consumption and for trade. The resin content is responsible for the acid taste of mango and cashew fruits and of the oil (sometimes extracted) in pistachio and cashew nuts. The true sumacs belong to the genus Rhus; some botanists include the poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac in that genus. Several species of sumacs are native to North America, usually in dry areas, and are noted for their brilliant autumn coloration. The common staghorn sumac (R. typhina) of the Eastern states is one of the species whose fruit is used in wine making and for medicinal purposes. Some sumacs—e.g., the Sicilian sumac (R. coriara) of S Europe—are cultivated for their tannin. Sumacs are also cultivated as ornamentals, e.g., the smoke tree (Cotinus coggygria) of S Eurasia, whose bark is sometimes used for a dye, and the pepper tree, or Peruvian mastic (Schinus molle), of the American tropics. The latter, with its drooping branches and red fruits, is a favorite avenue ornamental in S California; however, it is highly susceptible to black scale, a disease destructive to fruit trees, and hence must be destroyed in areas where there are citrus groves. Sumac is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
..... Click the link for more information. , class Magnoliopsida, order Sapindales, family Anacardiaceae.
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Fragrant bush up to 7ft tall, red hairy oily fruits, 3-leaf design, yellow flowers, red fuzzy berries. All parts edible and astringent. Fruit and leaves can be chewed for stomach ache, diabetes. Bark used for lung and urinary tract issues dysentery, diarrhea. Berries soaked in water makes lemonade, or mushed into porridge. Plant may irritate skin of some people.
Edible Plant Guide © 2012 Markus Rothkranz