N. ORD.-ANACARDIACE . 37
SEX. SVST.—PENTANDRI.'V TUIGVM.V.
SYN.—RHUS VENENATA, D. C.
COM. NAMES.—POISON OR SWAMP SUMACH, POISON ELDER, POISON OR
SWAMP DOGWOOD, POISON ASH, POISON TREE, POISON WOOD.
A TINCTURE OF THE B.\RK OF RHUS VENENATA, D. C.
Description.—This too common swamp shrub grows to a height of from 6 to
30 feet. Stem erect, brandling at the top ; branches smooth or nearly so, sometimes
verrucose. Leaves odd pinnately compound ; petiole brilHant red or purpHsh ;
leaflets 7 to 13, smooth, ovate-lanceolate, acute, entire. Inflorescence loose, slender,
erect panicles, in the axils of the uppermost leaves; flozocrs polygamous, greenishwhite;
pedicels pubescent. Calyx persistent. Fruit a persistent, drooping, thyrsoid
receme of globular, smooth, grayish-white berries, about the size of a small
pea; testa thin, papyraceous, loose and shining; millet oblong, flattened, longitudinally
striate by deep sulci ; inner coat soft, membranaceous, incised ; cotyledons
somewhat thick and fleshy.
History and Habitat.—The Poison Sumach is indigenous to North America,
ranging from Florida to Mississippi and northward to Canada. It habits swampy
ground, and blossoms in June at the north.
This most poisonous of our northern species has at times been confounded
and considered identical with the Japanese R. vernix, L. ; how near the resemblance
may be I have had no opportunity to judge ; however, we, as Homceopathists,
should not confound them, as climatic difference may cause varying
properties, and R. veniix may yet be proven.
The poisonous nature of this species has precluded its use in domestic and previous
practices; the principal effort concerning it has been attempts by farmers and
others toward its extermination ; very few persons, however, who understand the
plant will even approach its vicinity unless compelled by circumstances to do so.
Like the R. vernix of Japan, the wounded bark in spring and autumn exudes