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Poison Sumac, Poison Elder, Poison Dogwood, Swamp Sumac, Poison-wood, Poison-tree
Toxicodendron vernix


Poison sumac will be found growing in the wet areas of East Texas, east to Florida and north to Minnesota. Its 5- to 15-inch-long smooth and somewhat shiny pinnate leaves have 7 to 13 entire (smooth around the margin) leaflets which become orange or scarlet in the autumn. Its yellow-brown wood has horizontal lenticils on grey or brown bark. Poison sumac is closely related to poison ivy and poison oak, which are vines and usually have only 3 coarsly toothed leaflets rather than the 7 to 13 entire leaflets. "Toxico" means "poison tree" and refers to poison sumac's extremely dangerous and rash-producing properties. A high grade varnish is made from its sap.

Plant Habit or Use: medium shrub
large shrub
small tree

Exposure: sun
partial sun

Flower Color: green

Blooming Period: spring

Fruit Characteristics: subglobose drupe

Height: to 25 feet


Plant Character: deciduous

Heat Tolerance: high

Water Requirements:

Soil Requirements: adaptable

USDA Hardiness Zone: 4

Additional Comments:

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