Trees of Alabama and the Southeast

Lisa Samuelson, Ph.D.
School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
Auburn University

Toxicodendron vernix

Leaves are compound, alternate, and deciduous with 7-13 leaflets, a red rachis and an entire leaf margin. Leaves turn bright red in the fall. Twigs are stout, brown-gray, and glabrous with shield-shaped leaf scars. Bark is gray and smooth with prominent lenticels and black patches from exuded sap. Flowers are yellow-green. Fruit is a white juicy drupe. Poison-sumac is poisonous and no plant parts should be touched. Form is a shrub or small tree up to 30 feet in height that is found in wet areas in the east and central U.S. and is tolerant of shade.

Photographs by Mike Hogan.

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