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Rhus sempervirens - Scheele.

Common Name
Family Anacardiaceae
USDA hardiness Coming soon
Known Hazards There are some suggestions that the sap of this species can cause a skin rash in susceptible people, but this has not been substantiated. See also notes in 'Cultivation Details'.
Habitats Dry slopes[181], rocky hillsides and cliffs, 600 - 2250 metres[149].
Range Southern N. America - Texas, New Mexico and Mexico.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care (info)
Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Rhus sempervirens


Rhus sempervirens

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Rhus sempervirens is an evergreen Shrub growing to 3.5 m (11ft 6in).
It is frost tender. It is in leaf all year, in flower from July to August, and the seeds ripen from September to October. The species is dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required). and is pollinated by Bees. The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Oil
Edible Uses: Drink  Oil

Fruit - raw or cooked[149]. The fruit is small with very little flesh, but it is produced in fairly large panicles and so is easily harvested. When soaked for 10 - 30 minutes in hot or cold water it makes a very refreshing lemonade-like drink (without any fizz of course)[149]. The mixture should not be boiled since this will release tannic acids and make the drink astringent.

References

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Antiasthmatic

The leaves are used in domestic medicine for relieving asthma[227]. Some caution is advised in the use of the leaves and stems of this plant, see the notes above on toxicity.

References

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Other Uses

Dye  Mordant  Oil

An oil is extracted from the seeds[4]. It attains a tallow-like consistency on standing and is used to make candles. These burn brilliantly, though they emit a pungent smoke[4]. The leaves are rich in tannin. They can be collected as they fall in the autumn and used as a brown dye or as a mordant[169].

Special Uses

References

Cultivation details

We have very little information on the hardiness of this species and do not know if it will succeed outdoors in Britain. It is unlikely to succeed anywhere outside the mildest areas of the country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Succeeds in a well-drained fertile soil in full sun[11, 200]. The young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. Plants have brittle branches and these can be broken off in strong winds[200]. Plants are also susceptible to coral spot fungus[11]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. Many of the species in this genus are highly toxic and can also cause severe irritation to the skin of some people, whilst other species such as this one are not poisonous. It is relatively simple to distinguish which is which, the poisonous species have axillary panicles and smooth fruits whilst non-poisonous species have compound terminal panicles and fruits covered with acid crimson hairs[1, 4]. The toxic species are sometimes separated into their own genus, Toxicodendron, by some botanists[200]. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

References

Temperature Converter

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The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Seed - best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in hot water (starting at a temperature of 80 - 90c and allowing it to cool) prior to sowing in order to leach out any germination inhibitors[200]. This soak water can be drunk and has a delicious lemon-flavour. The stored seed also needs hot water treatment and can be sown in early spring in a cold frame[200]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame[200]. Root cuttings 4cm long taken in December and potted up vertically in a greenhouse. Good percentage[78, 200]. Suckers in late autumn to winter[200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Rhus ambigua Climber0.0 6-9  LMHSNM00 
Rhus aromaticaLemon Sumach, Fragrant sumacShrub1.2 3-9 SLMHNDM422
Rhus chinensisChinese Gall, Chinese sumacTree6.0 7-10  LMHNM23 
Rhus copallinaDwarf Sumach, Winged sumac, Flameleaf Sumac, Winged Sumac, Shining SumacShrub2.0 4-10 FLMHNDM423
Rhus coriariaElm-Leaved Sumach, Sicilian sumacShrub3.0 8-11  LMHNDM21 
Rhus diversilobaWestern Poison Oak, Pacific poison oakShrub2.5 4-8  LMHNM02 
Rhus glabraSmooth SumachShrub3.0 3-9 MLMHNDM433
Rhus integrifoliaLemonade Berry, Lemonade sumacShrub2.0 8-10 MLMHNDM20 
Rhus microphyllaDesert Sumach, Littleleaf sumacShrub2.0 8-11  LMHND20 
Rhus ovataSugar Bush, Sugar sumacShrub2.0 8-11  LMNDM21 
Rhus potaninii Tree12.0 4-8  LMHNM02 
Rhus punjabensis Tree12.0 5-9  LMHNM32 
Rhus punjabensis sinica Tree12.0 5-9  LMHNM32 
Rhus radicansPoison IvyClimber2.5 4-8 FLMHNM01 
Rhus succedaneaWax TreeTree9.0 4-9  LMHNM124
Rhus sylvestris Tree10.0 -  LMHNM00 
Rhus toxicodendronEastern Poison OakShrub0.6 6-9  LMHNDM02 
Rhus trichocarpa Tree6.0 -  LMHNM00 
Rhus trilobataSkunk Bush, Basketbush, Squawbush, Three Leaf SumacShrub1.8 4-6 MLMHNDM423
Rhus typhinaStag's Horn Sumach, Velvet Sumac, Staghorn SumacShrub6.0 4-8 FLMHNDM423
Rhus vernixPoison SumachShrub3.0 3-7  LMHNMWe01 
Rhus wallichii Tree8.0 -  LMHNM01 
Rhus x pulvinata Shrub3.0 0-0  LMHNDM422

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Author

Scheele.

Botanical References

227

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