name = Sumac
image_caption = Sumac fruit in fall
genus = "Rhus"
genus_authority = L.
subdivision_ranks = Species
subdivision = About 250 species; see text|
Sumac (pronEng|ˈʃuːmæk or IPA|/ˈs(j)uːmæk/; also spelled sumach) is any one of approximately 250 species of
flowering plants in the genus"Rhus" and related genera, in the family Anacardiaceae. The dried berries of some species are ground to produce a tangy purple spice often used in juice. [ [http://www.taste.com.au/how+to/articles/52/sumac Sumac - Ingredients - Taste.com.au ] ] [ [http://landscaping.about.com/cs/landscapecolor/a/sumac.htm Poison Sumach and Good Sumac Shrubs ] ]
Sumacs grow in subtropical and warm temperate regions throughout the world, especially in
Sumacs are shrubs and small
trees that can reach a height of 1-10 meters. The leaves are spirally arranged; they are usually pinnately compound, though some species have trifoliate or simple leaves. The flowers are in dense panicles or spikes 5-30 cm long, each flower very small, greenish, creamy white or red, with five petals. The fruits form dense clusters of reddish drupes called sumac bobs.
Cultivation and uses
The drupes of the genus "Rhus" are ground into a deep-red or purple powder used as a spice in
Middle Eastern cuisineto add a lemony taste to salads or meat. In Turkish cuisine, for example, it is added to salad-servings of kebabs and lahmacun. In North America, the smooth sumac ("Rhus glabra") and the staghorn sumac ("Rhus 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 berries of the smooth and staghorn sumacs combined with tobaccoin traditional smoking mixtures.
Species including the fragrant sumac ("Rhus 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
The leaves of certain sumacs yield
tannin(mostly pyrogallol), a substance used in vegetable tanning. Leathertanned with sumac is flexible, light in weight, and light in color, even bordering on being white.
Dried sumac wood is fluorescent under long-wave UV light. [cite web |url=http://www2.fpl.fs.fed.us/TechSheets/HardwoodNA/pdf_files/rhusspeng.pdf |format=PDF |title="Rhus" spp. Family Anacardiaceae |accessmonthday=07-14 |accessyear=2008 |author=Center for Wood Anatomy Research |date= |work=technology transfer fact sheet |publisher=USDA Forest service ]
Mowing of sumac is not a good control measure as the wood is springy resulting in jagged, sharp pointed stumps when mowed. The plant will quickly recover with new growth after mowing. See [http://ianrpubs.unl.edu/range/g1319.htm Nebraska Extension Service publication G97-1319] for suggestions as to control.
At times "Rhus" has held over 250 species. Recent
molecular phylogenyresearch suggests breaking "Rhus" sensulata into " Actinocheita", "Baronia", " Cotinus", " Malosma", " Searsia", " Toxicodendron", and "Rhus" sensu stricta. If this is done, about 35 species would remain in "Rhus". However, the data is not yet clear enough to settle the proper placement of all species into these genera. [cite journal | title = Phylogeny and Biogeography of Rhus (Anacardiaceae) Based on ITS Sequence Data | author = Allison J. Miller, David A. Young, and Jun Wen | journal = International Journal of Plant Sciences | volume = 162 | year = 2001 | pages = 1401–1407 | doi = 10.1086/322948] [cite web | url = http://etd.lsu.edu/docs/available/etd-04152004-101232/ | title=Molecular Systematics of the Cashew Family (Anacardiaceae) (PhD dissertation at Louisiana State University) | author=Pell, Susan Katherine | date= 2004-02-18, pages 103-108]
"Rhus" sp. nov. A is a so-far unpublished species, endemic to
Yemen. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests, subtropical or tropical dry shrubland, and rocky areas. It was given the status of "vulnerable" by the IUCN Red List. [Miller, A. 2004. [http://www.iucnredlist.org/search/details.php/44736/all "Rhus sp. nov. A"] . [http://www.iucnredlist.org 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. ] Downloaded on 23 August 2007.]
List of Southern African indigenous trees
* RO Moffett. "A Revision of Southern African Rhus species" FSA (Flora of South Africa) vol 19 (3) Fascicle 1.
* Schmidt, E., Lotter, M., & McCleland, W. (2002). "Trees and Shrubs of Mpumalanga and Kruger National Park". Jacana. ISBN 1-919777-30-X.
* [http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/splist.pl?10433 Germplasm Resources Information Network: "Rhus"]
* [http://data.gbif.org/species/13192654 Global Biodiversity Information Facility portal: "Rhus"]
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