SUMAC!!! - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-08-2009, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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SUMAC!!!

So i'm in a buddies back yard on Sunday and we were gonna do the marshmallow bonfire thing with the kids and realized we have no wire marshmallow sticks. So we start looking for something to cook them on and without thinking twice I cut down a couple sumac branches and was about to begin whittling -

I've never been on the receiving end of sumac - poison ivy tears me up, but sumac does nothing to me. Anyway, one of our guests says to me "hey...tha's sumac man..." and I was like "so...i never get it...DOH"

Just thought i'd share - I went further down the yard and cut down some maple twigs to use instead LOL...almost had some itchy kids OOPS!

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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-08-2009, 02:17 PM
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Re: SUMAC!!!

what you cut was more than likely staghorn sumac, not poison sumac
poison sumac only grows in swampy, wet areas and is fairly rare in PA

as waylon would say,
dont go taking me seriously
cause i poked at you in fun
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-08-2009, 02:50 PM
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Re: SUMAC!!!

Mike B - Thanks for that info! I was curious about that because we have sumac in our yard - but definetly not wet and swampy.

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-08-2009, 03:00 PM
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Re: SUMAC!!!

I agree with Mike.

Poison sumac can be far worse than just itchy--it can be fatal and is considered to be one of the most toxic plants we have in the US.

Staghorn sumac (Rufus Typhina) seeds can be used to make tea--although I have never tried it. It is a major food source for wildlife, both the seeds and as browse.

The edges of the leaves of Staghorn Sumac are toothed, poison Sumac (Rhus Vernix) leaf edges are smooth.

As a kid I did get a dose of poison Sumac which was growing along a ditch in one of our meadows--something I never want to repeat!

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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-08-2009, 03:52 PM
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Re: SUMAC!!!

as stated the red seed tassles have been used for tea
they are also used to make dye, trappers dyeing their traps is one of the more common uses
after reading the Foxfire books as a young boy, I had a lot of clothes that were the color of "sumac"

as waylon would say,
dont go taking me seriously
cause i poked at you in fun
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-08-2009, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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Re: SUMAC!!!

anyone have pics of the non poisonous sumac? The stuff growing in the backyard is not swampy, has fuzzy stems that look and feel like deer antler velvet - and has TONS of red berries and tassles. noone died from the marshmallows...so we must have done okay but i washed the heck outta my hands and knives LOL

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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-08-2009, 04:15 PM
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Re: SUMAC!!!

that sure sounds like staghorn sumac

as waylon would say,
dont go taking me seriously
cause i poked at you in fun
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-08-2009, 04:16 PM
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Re: SUMAC!!!

lots of pics here

http://images.google.com/images?q=stagho...=N&hl=en&tab=wi

as waylon would say,
dont go taking me seriously
cause i poked at you in fun
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-08-2009, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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Re: SUMAC!!!

yup...that's the stuff. So i guess I should have made some pink lemonade from the berries and watched for ill reactions from the spectators LOL

thanks guys!

Feral Cats are God's version of Ballistic Gelatin. - anonymous from another forum
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-08-2009, 09:59 PM
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Re: SUMAC!!!

I notice the bluebirds are picking on the sumac seed heads every spring. There must be insects in there that they are eating.
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