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Published In: Species Plantarum 1: 265. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library
 

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
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Project Data     (Last Modified On 8/6/2009)

 

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2. Rhus L. (sumac)

Plants shrubs or small trees, almost always dioecious, usually with long-creeping branched rhizomes and forming dense colonies, often pubescent with glandular and nonglandular hairs. Leaves trifoliate or pinnately compound, the rachis sometimes winged. Leaflets with the margins entire or toothed. Inflorescences dense terminal panicles, occasionally relatively small and appearing as dense clusters of flowers, developing before or after the leaves expand. Flowers all fertile, the stalks not plumose-hairy. Sepals 5, united at the base, usually persistent at fruiting. Petals 5, often hairy on the inner surface, greenish white to yellow. Staminate flowers with the stamens 5, the anthers ovoid, usually shorter than the filaments. Pistillate flowers with the styles 3, appearing terminal, equal in length or nearly so, short, sometimes fused toward the base. Ovary with 1 locule. Fruits globose or nearly so, often flattened, red or reddish, noticeably pubescent with dense red glandular hairs, sometimes also with nonglandular hairs, the outer layer and resinous fleshy to waxy middle layer readily detachable from the smooth stone. About 100 species, widespread in the Northern Hemisphere.

Native Americans apparently used the species of Rhus that grow in Missouri more or less interchangeably for various medicinal purposes, including to control vomiting and as a poultice for skin ailments (Moerman, 1998). The fruits also were chewed as a breath freshener. The fruits of sumacs are relished by a variety of wildlife. The leaves of the Missouri species turn bright red or less commonly reddish orange in autumn.

 

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1 1. Leaves trifoliate ... 1. R. AROMATICA

Rhus aromatica
2 1. Leaves pinnately compound, with 721 leaflets

3 2. Leaf rachis winged between leaflets ... 2. R. COPALLINUM

Rhus copallinum
4 2. Leaf rachis without wings

5 3. Branches glabrous; fruits with dense, short, red papillae ... 3. R. GLABRA

Rhus glabra
6 3. Branches densely hairy; fruits with dense red hairs ... 4. R. TYPHINA Rhus typhina
 
 
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