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Toxicodendron vernix (L.) Kuntze
Synonym(s): Rhus vernix
USDA Symbol: tove
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
Poisonous yet attractive narrow-crowned shrub or small tree with waxy whitish berries and dramatic fall foliage.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Tree Leaf Arrangement: Alternate Leaf Complexity: Pinnate Leaf Shape: Ovate Leaf Margin: Entire Size Notes:
Height up to 15 feet. Fruit:
White. 1/4-1/3 inch across. Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow , Green , Brown
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul
, WV Canada: NS
, QC Native Distribution:
Extreme S. Quebec and Maine south to central Florida, west to E. Texas, and north to SE. Minnesota; mostly confined to Atlantic and Gulf coastal plains and Great Lakes region; to 1000 (305 m). Native Habitat:
Wet soil of swamps, bogs, seepage slopes, and frequently flooded areas; in shady hardwood forests.
Growing ConditionsSoil Moisture: Moist , Wet
of Poison Sumac is not toxic to birds or animals and is consumed by many kinds of wildlife, such as bobwhites, pheasants, grouse, and rabbits, especially in winter, when other food is scarce. Use Other:
A black varnish can be made from the sap,
as in a related Japanese species. Warning:
POISONOUS PARTS: All parts, in all seasons if plant sap
contacted. Severe skin irritation upon contact. Symptoms include severe skin redness, itching, swelling, and blisters following direct or indirect contact. Toxic Principle: Urushiol. (Poisonous Plants of N.C.) Attracts:
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
Record Last Modified: 2012-06-20
Research By: TWC Staff