To make sumac spice, you first lay your sumac out to dry. Smooth Sumac has none of the hair on the leaves. Foraging Sumac- Edible Wild Plant 1. So while sumac fruit is not really a favorite wildlife food, it is an important winter survival food. It also spreads by ground suckers to form a colony. Nutrition: Smooth sumac berries probably have their peak nutrition shortly after they ripen, even though you can harvest them into winter. For lemonade I pick the good berries from each head, pour room-temp water over them, mash with a large spoon (I use a potato masher), and steep about 15-30 min. Add the berries to the water and use a potato masher or a spoon to crush the berries so they release their flavor. The leaves themselves alternate along the branch. So set up the vase under a roof in the enclosure. Nowadays, the most frequently seen tree that one could confuse with a sumac is the non-native, invasive and otherwise nasty Tree-of-Heaven (Ailanthus altissima.) Berries were frequently eaten raw but also made into a refreshing lemonade. Aside from terminal clusters of red berries, notice Smooth Sumac's bloom-covered smooth young twigs and large pinnately compound leaves. Smooth Sumac (Rhus glabra) is not the only species with forage-able fruit, but it is the most common species I find locally. How To Make Sumac … The red berries are beloved by wild-edibles enthusiasts, who use them to make a kind of "pink lemonade" and jellies. False poison sumac (R. michauxii) is a plant globally threatened with extinction, so it should not be harvested at all. In the fall the leaves turn a bright red. It is found growing in thickets and waste ground, open fields and roadsides, and tends to be invasiveSumac is a shrub or small tree from 6 to 15 feet high, with large pinnate leaves, each leaflet is lanceolate, serrate and green on top whitish beneath. The edible sumac has terminal clusters of garnet, purse-shaped berries with a fine coating of fuzz (often gray.) Crushed twigs and leaves yielded a black dye when mixed with ochre mineral and the resin of pinyon pine. They can produce itchy rashes on contact, such as poison ivy, poison oak and even a species of sumac called … But the fruit stage of the Rhus sumacs and their Toxicodendron cousins—poison sumac, poison ivy and poison oak — look pretty different. Peterson, L.A.(1977). Sumac is a deciduous shrub native to North America found in all 48 mainland states of USA and in southern Canada. In the northeast the staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina, synonym: Rhus hirta) predominates. Also, if you look at the base of a leaflet off one of the compound leaves, Tree-of-Heaven has an odd large tooth near the base of its leaflet. Any sumac variety that has red berries is edible, including staghorn sumac and smooth sumac. Staghorn sumac, winged sumac, and smooth sumac are the most common sumac species in Georgia. National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA. View photos of the edible and medicinal plant Rhus glabra (Smooth sumac), profiled in Wild Edible Plants of Texas. 2015. Considered a nuisance by most, this incredibly prolific plant is easy to spot and can be found nearly everywhere. Form: shrub, or some sumac species are small trees, Citation: Guenther, K. (2019, March 10) Smooth sumac as wildlife food [Web log post.] Or if they are moist from weather, you can air dry them for 1 week in a paper bag and then store them in a glass airtight container at room temperature. Matthew Hunter shows how to use and identify smooth sumac(Rhus glabra). Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about the edible sumacs. Sumac tends to get a bad rap for a number of reasons, but you might be surprised to find that smooth sumac is just one of many edible varieties of sumac. The uses and basic identification are the same for staghorn sumac(Rhus typhina). It has edible relatives that are similar, such as Smooth Sumac. In early autumn, smooth sumac turns brilliant purplish red, heralding the fall color season. But there are couple of safety issues to consider. “The most important distinction is in the berries, which are whitish, waxy, hairless and hang in loose, grape-like clusters – quite unlike the berries of the edible sumacs. Roots produced a yellow dye and a light-yellow dye could be made from the pulverized pulp of stems. 2000. Smooth sumac (Rhus glabra) is one of the most common roadside trees in Kentucky. So I don’t think you will confuse the fruits. I lay mine out on newspaper that I put in a box, which I... 2. Flowers bloom in June and July they are in dense panicles of greenish-red small five petaled flowers. The berries are high in calcium and potassium (Elpel, 2013). The Smooth Sumac and Shining Sumac are smooth both on the twigs and the fruits. Fort Worth, Texas: Botanical Research Institute of Texas Press. 12,334) Staghorn Sumac Latin Name: Rhus typhina Audubon Society Flowers (pg. Fruit Size: Each berry within the larger fruit cluster is about 1/8 inch (3.5 mm), round, red and velvety. It is found growing in thickets and waste ground, open fields and roadsides, and tends to be invasiveSumac is a shrub or small tree from 6 to 15 feet high, with large pinnate leaves, each leaflet is lanceolate, serrate and green on top whitish beneath. As with most wild foods, timing is important with this small tree. My video on sumacs is here. 11,333) Smooth Sumac Latin Name: Rhus glabra Audubon Society Flowers (pg. might for some people cause a mild contact dermititis, but not on the order of poison ivy. Native Americans were aware that red sumac berries were edible—analyses of remains of human feces contained sumac seeds dated to 1,200 CE at Antelope House in Canyon de Chelly and from at least 2,000 years ago at Puebloan sites across the Four Corners area. Ute basket weavers preferred the supple twigs of fragrant sumac for ceremonial baskets, while willow branches could be used to weave coarser working baskets. (1951). There are numerous wild edibles that can be harvested and enjoyed with youth. Aside from terminal clusters of red berries, notice Smooth Sumac's bloom-covered smooth young twigs and large pinnately compound leaves. Photo by Jeff Mitton. Naitve Americans also used sumac leaves in the smoking mixture call kinninkinick. Using: When the Staghorn and Smooth Sumac berry clusters are ripe, pick two or three clusters off the plant, take home and remove the outer, healthy looking berries into a bowl, pour warm, but not boiling water over them. Rhus glabra, commonly called smooth sumac, is a Missouri native, deciduous shrub which occurs on prairies, fields, abandoned farmland, clearings and along roads and railroads throughout the State.A large, open, irregular, spreading shrub which typically grows 8-15' tall and spreads by root suckers to form thickets or large colonies in the wild. Wearing disposable or washable gloves, run or crush a leaf of Tree-of-Heaven in your through hand—gloved so in case it is poison sumac you will not have skin contact. National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association, St. Female flowers also have 5 petals but a single style which splits into three lobes at the tip. Tree-of-Heaven that is three to six years old is the same size as sumac, but will never produce the berry cluster. The berries are high in calcium and potassium (Elpel, 2013). Two factors suggested that this spring and summer would witness extraordinary blooms of wildflowers on... Pinedrops parasitizes the mycorrhizal fungus directly, stealing water, minerals, carbohydrates and nutrients, but supplying nothing in return. Cloud, MN. Exposed to rain and snow over time, some nutrients are washed away. They’re not even in the same genus. Most parts of this plant have been used medicinally by Native Americans and in folk medicine. Smooth sumac (Rhus glabra) and staghorn sumac (R. typhina) are the most common and readily available landscape species. Winged Sumac Latin Name: Rhus copallina Audubon Society Flowers (pg. Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina), Smooth Sumac (Rhus glabra), and Shining Sumac (Rhus copallina) sucker profusely, and are despised by people with small yards that need to control them and can’t. As with most wild foods, timing is important with this small tree. Sumac is a red or purplish-red powdered spice made from the berries and occasionally the leaves of the sumac bush. Leaf Description: The large leaf is made up of 31 leaflets that are toothed. Exposed to rain and snow over time, some nutrients are washed away. A trilobata leaf develops as three completely separated lobes, while a glabra leaf is compound, one to two feet long, with 11 to 31 pointed leaflets per leaf—these remind me of the leaves of ferns. Martin, A.C., Zim, H.S., Nelson, A.L. Sumac is 8th on our Fabulous Fruit List, and it is an easy beginner forager plant to collect. The berries tend to be ripe in the summer. Just make sure the berries are in a dense, upright, red cluster. How-to guide. The Brazilian Pepper has long ovalish leaves and clusters of bright pink/red smooth, hairless berries growing off stems. Flower Description: Clusters of flowers are small, yellow-green and each flower forms into a berry on the erect cluster. Another common wildlife food genus, related to sumac. All of the sumac species are tough and hardy and make excellent shelter and food for birds. Staghorn sumac, however, is an entirely different variety, and is both edible and delicious! The foliage usually turns brilliant red, reddish orange, or purplish red in early autumn. Edible Use Name Family: Smooth Sumac Family: Anacardiaceae Rhus glabra Description: A small tree or shrub that has compound leaves. The poison sumac tree (Toxicodendron vernix) is found only in very wet soils, like swamps and marshes—which is a big clue, because the sumacs we are seeking are usually in drier soils. Smooth sumac, Rhus glabra, is the only shrub or tree that is native to all of the 48 contiguous states. Sumac berries are a dry, long lasting food source well into winter, so you don’t have to worry about the fruits rotting, souring or fermenting. Male flowers have 5 petals and 5 yellow anthers, with a ring of nectaries below the anthers to reward pollinators. The genus Rhuscontains about 35 species that are native to North America, but only one other species is native to Colorado—fragrant sumac, Rhus trilobata. Young twigs could be plucked from a shrub, peeled and eaten as a crunchy salad. It has long been used to balance flavours in dishes by adding sour notes: This chart may help you identify species: Caution: The milky sap of Rhus spp. Scott, M. (2013). More and more gardeners are growing sumac in their landscape and gardens for their bold fall color. Edible and Versatile Berries. They remind me of the Native Americans that first occupied this land, simply because they were such important sources of food, medicines, weaving materials and dyes. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. Sumac has also shown to have benefits for treating diarrhea, dysentery, sore throats, infections, asthma and cold sores. If you indeed do have poison sumac in your county, spend some time doing additional research with the resources listed below until you feel more comfortable with identification, so you don’t come home from foraging scratching a budding rash. Sumac Berries – Sumac has a bad reputation for being poisonous, but only a few species are actually toxic. Stems are reddish in color. How to Store Prepared Fruit: You can remove berries off the cluster or keep the whole berry cluster intact. Tree-of-Heaven produces a very different seedpod cluster, a tassle of winged seeds in July or August, generally before sumac berries mature. Smooth sumac (Rhus glabra) is one of the most common roadside trees in Kentucky. Staghorn & Smooth Sumac. Now that you know what to look for, I’ll bet you’ll find wild edible sumac all over the place! An acid flavour, it has been used as a substitute for lemon juice[2]. Edible sumacs are found in upland areas and don’t like to get their feet wet. The twigs have a white sap flowing inside, which can be seen if the twig is broken. Red cone-shaped fruit clusters are held above the branches in summer, autumn and winter. Digital Atlas of the Virginia Flora (http://www.vaplantatlas.org). Smooth sumac and fragrant sumac have always been conspicuous in the fall, but now they seem more apparent to me. In addition to using the identification guide of your choice, here are a couple of features you should see on this plant: About this Species:  I am lucky enough to have found smooth, fragrant, winged and staghorn sumac all in my area! The Smooth Sumac’s Spectacular colors and Endless Appeal. Smooth sumac has smooth stems covered with a white powder that comes off when you touch it. Approximately 250 species of sumac are known, from all of the continents, and they follow one simple, very handy generalization.". Since there are poisonous plants in the Anacardiaceae family, and since poison sumac does resemble some of the food sumacs during its foliage stage, care should be taken when foraging. Johnson, Kathleen A. Staghorn sumac has very fuzzy stems, hence the name staghorn. This variety has smooth bark, distinctive long pinate leaves and arching branches like staghorn sumac, and cone-shaped berry clusters, or bobs, which are easy to harvest and last through the winter. But identifying sumacs by foliage alone is harder. Staghorn sumac has alternate, compound leaves, 40 to 60 cm (16 to 24") long. It is similar to smooth sumac, except the leaves are untoothed. The staghorn sumac, named for the velvety covering on its new branches, similar to the velvet on a stags new antlers, is a common and widespread species of edible sumac. Noteworthy Characteristics. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. Wildflowers: Northeastern/North-central North America. your own Pins on Pinterest When soaked for 10 - 30 minutes in hot or cold water it makes a very refreshing lemonade-like drink (without any fizz of course) [85, 95, 101, 102, 149, 159, 183]. 275 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309Email the magazineCollege of Arts & Sciences main website, University of Colorado Boulder© Regents of the University of Colorado Rhus glabra. Sumac species are dioecious, meaning that a plant is either male or female. Each berry contains a single hard, gray-brown, pointy egg-shaped seed within. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about the edible sumacs. Use within 1 year. A drupe consists of 100 to 700 flowers and a fertilized female flower develops into a berry with a single seed—so only females produce berries. Both grow 10 to 15 feet tall with a similar width and have bright red fall colors. Privacy • Legal & Trademarks • Campus Map. USDA, NRCS. The first step before eating any wild edible is to positively identify it. Foragers in those areas should avoid sumac harvesting unless they have high confidence of their identification skills and have thoroughly familiarized themselves with the local species. Toxicodendron (the Poison  ivy, Poison oak, Poison sumac family.) A surprising range of pigments were extracted from sumac for dyeing baskets and blankets. The twigs have a white sap flowing inside, which can be seen if the twig is broken. Due to low moisture they freeze well kept in an airtight container. Sumac is typically dried, ground, and sold as a spice, especially in Middle Eastern markets. Retrieved: supply the date, from http://wildfoods4wildlife.com. (Accessed March 2019). Once the berry clusters are dry, either all the way, or somewhat, stick the whole cluster into a food processor (but... 3. I love the brilliant red-orange leaves which start to turn from green into color just at the time the berries ripen. While all four are in the same family (Cashew), the latter three are non-poisonous. Edible sumac has red fruit borne in terminal clusters. In fact the red berries can be crushed into water to make a tart drink (sumac-ade), due to the high concentration of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in the red covering over the seed clusters. The fruit is rather small and with very little flesh, but it is produced on fairly large panicles and so is easily harvested. These edible plants are also known as smooth upland sumac, scarlet sumac, dwarf sumac, lemonade tree, vinegar tree, shining sumac, mountain sumac, hairy sumac, velvet sumac, Virginian sumac, and winged sumac (Angier [2008] 1974: 224; Kindscher 1987: 191; Medve and Medve 1990: 183). It is found in Dinwiddie, Brunswick and Nottoway counties of Virginia (especially in and around the Ft. Pickett area) as well as North Carolina and Georgia. It is not, though, as sour aslemon or vinegar. Rub the berries around with your hands, then let soak for about half an hour. The leaves of the three species differ slightly as well. The mixture should not be boiled since this will release tannic acids and make the drink astringent. Smooth sumac is not poisonous. They are very tart and make a wonderful sumac lemonade! The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 6 November 2015). It’s everywhere during the warm, summer months! The arsenal of chemical defenses is so effective that only the sumac leaf beetle, Blepharida rhois, can eat the leaves of smooth sumac and fragrant sumac. In the fruit stage, poison sumac has white berries that hang dangling downward, while the flower and fruit clusters of all the Rhus species are orange to red and stand upward in tight clusters. Approximately 250 species of sumac are known, from all of the continents, and they follow one simple, very handy generalization. Virginia Botanical Associates. The fruit grows in clusters of red and fuzzy berries and … Inviting red berries of smooth sumac remain on the twigs through winter, available to birds and mammals. Smooth Sumac is very similar to the Staghorn Sumac, except it is a smaller plant, usually 10 to 15 feet high, that is normally a large shrub and it does not have hairy twigs or fruit clusters. As this specialist feeds it drills many tiny holes in the leaves. In fact the red berries can be crushed into water to make a tart drink (sumac-ade), due to the high concentration of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in the red covering over the seed clusters. Native Americans have long been using these sumacs, whose sour flavor is also a boon to foragers. The three poisonous plants all have white-yellow berries, while the food sumacs you are seeking have red fruits. All produce red berries with varying degrees of sourness. Attracts Butterflies and Birds. Treehoppers’ environments are defined by their host species, A super bloom of desert annuals on the Colorado Plateau, A plant incapable of photosynthesis but good at forming bridges. The fruit grows in clusters of red and fuzzy berries and … c/o Virginia Botanical Associates, Blacksburg. Once the sumac lemonade is flavored to your liking, pour it through a strainer or cheesecloth to remove the berries. Sumacs are shrubs or small trees that often form colonies from their creeping, branched roots. Soil & site, starting, maintenance, harvesting & using the edible berries. I collected the treehoppers to photograph them and 7 hours later they were still amplectic. It provides beautiful leaves and some fruit. View photos of the edible and medicinal plant Rhus glabra (Smooth sumac), profiled in Wild Edible Plants of Texas.

smooth sumac edible

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