|Rhus subsp. var.|
Sumacs are shrubs and small trees that can reach a height of 1 - 10 m. 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. The dried drupes of some species are ground to produce a tangy purple spice.
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 cultivars.
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Rhus (ancient Greek name). Anacardiaceae. Sumac. Ornamental woody plants, grown chiefly for their handsome foliage, often assuming brilliant autumnal colors, and some species also for their showy fruiting panicles. See also Cotinus.
Deciduous or evergreen shrubs, sometimes climbing by aerial rootlets, or trees, with milky or resinous juice: lvs. alternate, without stipules, simple, 3-foliolate or odd-pinnate: fls. dioecious or polygamous, small, in axillary or terminal panicles; calyx 5-parted; petals 5, imbricate; stamens 5, inserted below a broad disk; ovary superior, with 3 styles: fr. a small 1-seeded dry drupe, smooth or hairy.—About 150 species in the temperate and subtropical regions of both hemispheres. Foliage and bark of most species are rich in tannin and are used for tanning leather, particularly the lvs. of B. coriaria in S. Eu. From R. verniciflua lacquer is obtained in China and Japan, used in the manufacture of lacquer-ware; R. succedanea yields a vegetable wax, used for candles in Japan, and also exported for various purposes. R. laevigata and some other S. African species are valued for their timber.
The sumacs are shrubs or trees with handsome simple or usually compound foliage assuming in most deciduous species brilliant autumnal colors, and with small comparatively inconspicuous flowers in usually large panicles, followed by small fruits which are deep red and showy in many species. The only species with rather showy flowers of creamy white color appearing in late summer is R. javanica, while R. typhina, R. glabra, and R. copallina are chiefly valued for their large pinnate leaves coloring scarlet in autumn and also for the conspicuous panicles of deep red fruits remaining almost unchanged on the plants during the winter; they are well adapted for mass-planting on barren ground and dry hillsides. Also R. verniciflua, R. succedanea, and R. vernix have handsome large foliage, but are poisonous like R. Toxicodendron, and for this reason are not recommended for extensive planting. The deciduous native species are hardy North, and R. verniciflua, R. Potaninii, R. punjabensis var. sinica, R. javanica, R. tri- chocarpa, and R. sylvestris are hardy as far north as Massachusetts, while R. coriaria is tender, and the evergreen species can be grown only in warmer temperate regions. Most species grow well in dry and barren soil, only R. vernix is a swamp-loving plant. Many species, particularly R. Toxicodendron, R. glabra, R. typhina, and R. copallina. spread by suckers and may become a nui- sance in lawns and mixed plantations. Propagation is by seeds sown in autumn or stratified; all species grow readily from root-cuttings; some species, as R. canaden- sis, may be increased by layers or cuttings of mature wood.
Pests and diseases
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
aromatica, 8.laevigata, 5.radicans, 10. canadensis, 8.lanceolata, 18.roxburghii, 17. copallina, 18.laurina, 3.semialata, 17. coriaria, 16.lucida, 6.sinica, 14, 15. dissecta, 20.michauxii, 19.succedanea, 13. diversiloba, 9.mollis, 4.toxicodendron, 10. filicina, 20.osbeckii, 17.trilobata, 7. glabra, 21.ovata, 2.typhina, 20. hirta, 20.potaninii, 14.venenata, 11. integrifolia, 1.pumila, 19.vernicifera, 12. javanica, 17.punjabensis, 15.verniciflus, 12. laciniata, 20, 21.quercifolia, 10.vernix, 11, 12.
R. cotinoides, Nutt.~Cotinus americana.—R. Cotinus, Linn.~Cotinus Coggygria.—R. Delavayi, Franch. Allied to R. succedanea. Glabrous shrub: lfts. 5-7, elliptic, 1-2 in. long, light green beneath: infl. 2-3 1/2 in. long. W. China. Var. quinquejuga, Rehd. & Wilson. Lfts. 5-11. slightly pubescent while young. W. China.—, hybrida, Rehd. Hybrid between R. glabra and R. typhina, found occasionally among the parents: young branchlcts sparingly or densely pubescent: lfts. on the veins beneath slightly pubescent: hairs of the fr. exactly intermediate in length between those of the parents. —R. orienitalis, Schneid. (R. Toxicodendron var. hispida, Engl. ), Allied to R.Toxicodendron. Climbing: young branchlets hairy: lfts. dull green above, entire: fr. pilose. Japan. China.—R. rhodanthema, F. Muell.~Rhodosphaera rhodanthema.—R. sylvestris, Sieb. & Zucc. Allied to R. succedanea. Shrub or tree, to 30 ft.: young branchlets, rachis, and lfts. beneath pubescent. Japan, China.—R. tomentosa. Linn. Allied to R. laevigata. Shrub or small tree: lfts. 3, oblong, entire or crenate-dentate, tomentose beneath, 1 1/2-3 in. long. S. Afr.—R. trichocarpa, Miq. Allied to R. verniciflua. Shrub or small tree: petiole and lfts. beneath pubescent; lfts. usually smaller: panicle shorter and denser: fr. pilose. Japan, China.
- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963
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