These little guys are here to remind us that this plant loves Florida!

                      Glad I live in good ole Pennseltucky!

                      Check out these photos I found on the web:






Read All About Poison Sumac Under The Box

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Poison Sumac  is a lot like Poison Ivy and Poison Oak because it has the same chemical that makes you itch.

These are direct quotes from the websites listed. You can find more information on the net.



Poison sumac (Toxicodendron vernix or Rhus vernix) is a woody shrub or small tree growing to 7 m (20 ft) tall.[1] All parts of the plant contain a resin called urushiol that causes skin and mucous membrane irritation to humans. When burned, inhalation of the smoke causes diarrhea and other internal irritations

Poison sumac is not very common. Thankfully.
Poison sumac is not very common, although the safe sumacs (see below) are very common. Poison sumac only grows in very wet areas. It took me 10 years to find a sumac tree, and even then I only found it because a friendly biologist showed it to me. I stand in mud and water up past my ankles to when I go visit this tree (in a reserve in Concord, Massachusetts.)

  • Grows only in wetlands
  • Not common
  • Leaves are smooth
  • No hair on stems
  • 7-9 leaves per stem

Notice that the leaves are not jagged or hairy, unlike the common staghorn sumac show below.


Where sumac is found.
This map shows the places where all sumac trees are found and where poison sumac MIGHT be found. But you will generally still need a lot of luck (good or bad) to actually find it. Remember, it only grows in extremely wet areas - with roots in water, which kills most trees.

Word has it that there is quite of bit of poison sumac along the banks of the Mississippi in some places, and that workers building Disneyworld in the Florida wetlands Florida battled with it.

But the sumac you see growing along America's roads and highways is usually staghorn sumac. (However much of the ivy you also see growing along the road is poison ivy, which is extremely common.)


The head of the tree is round and narrow and the branches slender and rather pendulous; often it is simply a shrub. Small branches and young stems pithy. Has acrid, milky, poisonous juice which turns black on exposure.[1]

The compound leaves are pinnate, 25-50 cm long, with 7 - 13 leaflets; the leaflets are 4-10 cm long and sometimes mistaken for individual leaves. The veins from which the leaflets grow are always red.

The fruit is a small white or grey berry, produced in panicles 10-20 cm long; this distinguishes it from other sumacs which have red berries. Differs from other sumacs in having shorter leaves, leaflets fewer, margins are entire. It is found in wet soils, whereas the others like it dry.[1]

  • Bark: Smooth, light or dark gray, slightly striate. Branchlets are smooth, reddish brown, covered with small, orange colored, lenticular spots; later they become orange brown and finally light gray.
  • Wood: Light yellow with brown lines; light, soft, coarse-grained, brittle. Sp. gr., 0.4382; weight of cu. ft., 27.31 lbs.
  • Winter buds: Terminal bud is much larger than the axillary buds, all are acute, dark purple.
  • Leaves: Alternate, pinnately compound, seven to fourteen inches long, borne on slender reddish petioles. Leaflets seven to thirteen, obovate, or oblong, three to four inches long, slightly unequal or contracted at the base, entire, acute or rounded at the apex, short petiolate except the terminal one which sometimes has a stalk an inch in length. They come out of the bud orange colored and downy, when full grown are smooth, dark green and shining above, pale beneath; midrib and primary veins prominent. IN autumn they turn scarlet and orange.
  • Flowers: June, July. Dioecious; yellow green, borne in long, narrow, axillary panicles crowded near the ends of the branches. Bracts and bractlets are acute, downy, and fall as the flowers open.
  • Calyx: Five-lobed, lobes acute, short.
  • Corolla: Petals five, acute, yellow green.
  • Stamens: Five, with long slender filaments and large orange colored anthers. In the fertile flowers short and rudimentary.
  • Pistil: Ovary ovoid-globose, one-celled, surmounted by three thick spreading styles; ovule solitary.
  • Fruit: Drupaceous, globular, white, borne in long graceful racemes, often tipped with the dark remnants of the styles. Ripens in September and frequently hangs on the tree the entire winter. Cotyledons flat, leaf-like.[1]


Did you know????            

  Stag Horn is often mistaken for its poisonous  cousin?   The berries can be dried and used as a spice on    -well- errr- I'll spell it-