They can torture you for weeks on end after an unfortunate encounter. Edible sumacs have red berries that are held above the branches. The most common non-poisonous sumac, staghorn sumac, bears bright orange or red berries which grow at the ends of the stems, and they are held upright on the stems. by Angela Carson (Bookerc1) October 16, 2012. Middle Eastern chefs use sumac as a topping for fattoush salad, and are often sprinkled … Bag them and dispose of them in the trash, rather than putting them in landscape waste bags that may be picked up and burned by unsuspecting municipal workers. Now that you know about the poisonous white sumac, also avoid when looking for sumac the Brazilian Pepper which to the unfamiliar eye can look similar in growth pattern to the regular sumac. While you can attempt to control poison sumac at any time of year, you will have the best results if you treat it in May through July while the plants are flowering. Pick the fruit in late summer or early fall when berries turn red. US Geological Survey Map, from Wikimedia Commons. Staghorn Sumac, autumn color: from Flickr Creative Commons, by SimonDeanMedia. Media Kit | The first article in the series, on poison ivy, can be found here. This works by releasing the histamines that build up in the skin from the body's allergic response to the urushiol oils. Warm 1 ½ cups of sumac-ade and add to cold juice. The plant bears fruits or berries in dense clusters of drupes, which are also called sumac bobs. [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poison_sumac, [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urushiol-induced_contact_dermatitis, http://www.poisonivyremoval.com/ordereze/content/8/summary.aspx, [3] http://www.tdi.texas.gov/pubs/videoresource/fspoisonivyoaks.pdf, (Click on any image to see the original full-sized picture.). The berries of all species of Ilex are reported to be poisonous if eaten in quantity (and that is the key here). If you think that your animal is ill or may have ingested a poisonous substance, contact your local veterinarian or our 24-hour emergency poison hotline directly at 1-888-426-4435. Some rights reserved. If you have a known food allergy to any of these foods, be particularly cautious around poison sumac! Use of this Web site constitutes acceptance of the Davesgarden.com Terms of Use, Rules, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy. Stir in sugar or other sweetener if desired. Below are some photos to help you identify it. It may take 12 hours or more for the rash to appear, especially on your first exposure, so don't wait for a reaction to take action! Credited to Andy Jones, Cleveland Museum of Natural History. By contrast, if you visit New England in autumn to view the fall foliage, it would be difficult to avoid seeing staghorn sumac. This shrub or small tree can grow up to 35 feet tall. Place the water, 2 T. olive oil, 1 T. sumac concentrate and 2 t. salt in a saucepan. It’s best to harvest after a dry spell because rain washes away the tangy flavor of the berries. Follow Angie on Google. [2] It is important that you only do this after all urushiol oils have been removed from the skin, and be careful not to scald the skin, which would further injure it and slow the healing process. Here are 10 tasty wild berries to try — and 8 poisonous ones to avoid. Place the berries in the water and gently squeeze and swish them around to release their juice. Mission | Apparently birds eat sumac berries only as a last resort. It is related to the poisonous shrub by the same name, but the culinary variety is safe to use and easily identifiable by … Many birds, including quail, treat the berries as an emergency food source in winter. Twigs and branches exude a milky sap when broken. Even more toxic than poison ivy and poison oak, poison sumac packs a serious punch. The poisonous sumac has roundish leaves, pointy on the end, has white fruit that grows out from where a leaf meets the stem, and grows only in very wet places. Some rights reserved. Yes, some varieties are poisonous, but many are not, and it’s not difficult to distinguish them. Hot water also opens the pores of the skin, allowing for faster penetration into the skin. Following the directions for sumac-ade, process four or five batches of berries through the same water. Sumac Stems, from Flickr Creative Commons, by Hadleygrass is asparagus. Another cleanser recommended by the Forestry Service for urushiol removal is called TECNU. There is, however, a sumac that should be avoided at all costs: Toxicodendron vernix, better known as poison sumac. [ Home | They also add a unique flavor to other dishes. It’s quite rare here. Tour | Another distinguishing feature is that the berries of poison sumac trees hang down, while those of the non-poisonous sumacs grow upright. If the itchiness of the rash is driving you to distraction, there is anecdotal evidence that taking a bath or shower in water as hot as you can stand it, or applying hot compresses to the areas with the worst itching, can give up to several hours of relief. Here's what Cornell's Plants Poisonous to Livestock and other Animals says about it: "Species Most Often Affected: humans" Poison sumac, (Toxicodendron vernix or Rhus vernix) is typically found in very wet areas. Snap off the young shoots as you would asparagus. Strain the mixture through a double layer of cheesecloth or a coffee filter. The sumac plant, which is native to South Asia and the Middle East, is known for its vibrant red berries, also called drupes. Snap off small sections further toward the end of the branch until you find solid green inside. Contact Us | The uncooked berries and other parts of the plant are poisonous; however, the species Sambucus nigra is the only elderberry species considered to be non-toxic. If you’re worried about accidentally picking poison sumac berries, just remember that poison sumac berries are white, not red. Pull off any leaves and peel the thin outside bark of the shoot. Be very careful how you dispose of any plant matter. High in Vitamin C, sumac berries are used to make berry tea, sumac-ade, jello or jelly. of Health and Human Services Go to source Winged Sumac, from PlantFiles, by DG member Melody Rose (Melody). Angie was bitten hard by the gardening bug when she was just a child, and has been doing her best to infect as many people as possible ever since! It is a non-selective herbicide, so be careful not to overspray onto plants you want to keep. Refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours. Does that blazing scarlet stand of sumac trees pose any danger? You’ve probably heard of poison sumac, but it’s not likely that you’ve seen it in Wisconsin. Poison Sumac, summer colors: from Flickr Creative Commons, by Jennifer Jordan (lovingshiva). Species with red berries, including smooth and fragrant sumac, produce edible berries, while species with white berries, including poison ivy, have poisonous berries. Eat the shoots either raw or steamed. Among my favorites in the autumn are the brilliant, toothy leaves of the staghorn sumac tree. 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 … Although it's not considered to be very poisonous, the attractive red or other colored berries should be considered dangerous to small children -- symptoms listed include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. If your rash develops much more quickly, with onset in 4-12 hours instead of 24-48 hours, or if your eyes swell shut or you experience difficulty breathing, you should seek medical attention immediately. Featured Companies | When they first form, the berries are green. One distinguishing feature of the berries of poison sumac is that they aren't perfectly round. Let the berries soak in the water overnight. The strange cousin to poison oak and ivy, poison sumac is definitely the more formidable of the 3 most common poisonous plants found in New Jersey. They can be pale-yellow, glossy, or cream-colored, and they often hang down low on the plant. But the berries of this species are every bit as lemony tasty as it's staghorn cousin. Her two sons have obviously inherited her interest in growing things, and her husband is starting to see the benefits of less lawn to mow, as long as he doesn't have to do the work of digging up new beds for her latest schemes! The leaves vary widely by species, but most are hairy and have toothed or finely cut leaves. Use of this Web site constitutes acceptance of the Davesgarden.com, Poison Oak: How to Identify It, and What to Do if You've Been Exposed. Identifying Wild Plants: Sumac, Glorious Fall Color, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poison_sumac, http://www.tdi.texas.gov/pubs/videoresource/fspoisonivyoaks.pdf. Look at the broken end of the shoot. [3]The recommended method of control is to use an herbicide, such as glyphosate (Roundup, Kleenup), which is absorbed through the leaves of the plant. It can also be the result of eating plant parts (leaves or berries), or inhaling smoke from burning dead/dry plants It’s quite rare here. Creams and lotions that dry up the rash, such as calamine lotion and hydrocortisone creams, are commonly used. Public Domain. Advertise | However, anyone with known allergies to any member of the Cashew Family should avoid consuming sumac. You will not find poison sumac growing up on high, dry hillsides where non-poisonous ornamental kinds typically grow. Now, however, we are getting back to discovering the truth behind this plant. 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