poison sumac Anacardiaceae Toxicodendron
vernix (L.) Kuntze symbol: TOVE
Leaf: Alternate, pinnately compound, 8 to 13 inches long, 7 to 13 shiny green, ovate leaflets (each 2 to 4 inches long), entire margins, dull green beneath. TOXIC.
Flower: Small, yellow-green in drooping, loose clusters in leaf axils, appearing in early to mid-summer. TOXIC.
Fruit: Small (1/4 to 1/3 inch across) round, white (initially shiny green) drupes in hanging clusters, ripen in late summer, persistent. TOXIC.
Twig: Stout, glabrous, orange brown, often mottled, numerous darker lenticels, leaf scar large and shield-shaped, buds with downy scales. Broken or cut stems exude a dark colored sap TOXIC.
Bark: Smooth, splotchy gray-brown with numerous darker, horizontally spreading lenticels. TOXIC.
Form: Small (up to 15 feet), upright tree with a few wide spreading branches, often sprouts near the base.
Looks like: shining sumac - prairie sumac - Brazilian peppertree - Chinese pistache
Additional Range Information: Toxicodendron vernix is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting poison sumac.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson