Staghorn sumac is not to be confused with poison sumac. Welcome to the famous Dave's Garden website. Look at the end of a shoot after you break it off. Then add enough sugar to sweeten the drink, but not so much that you lose the tangy flavor. They’ll crumble to dust between your fingers. First year shoots off old stumps are the best, but the spring-time tips of old branches are also edible but not as good. Today, many Middle Eastern cultures still prefer sumac to lemons or vinegar. Ancient Roman chefs used sumac berries to produce sour accents. What is the best time to gather sumac? The somewhat sour berrylike fruits are edible and rich in vitamin A. This 'Prairie Flame' Winged Sumac is a new cultivar from the partnership of Morton Arboretum and Chicagoland Grows, a northern Illinois nursery association. Ground, dried sumac berries taste great as a spice rub for lamb, fish and chicken. Once the sumac lemonade is flavored to your liking, pour it through a strainer or cheesecloth to remove the berries. Unlike sumac spice, poison sumac is not edible and can actually be extremely dangerous to health. It has edible relatives that are similar, such as Smooth Sumac. Many bear very close resemblance to the staghorn. Chinese New Year: Traditions and Superstitions, Spring Equinox and the First Day of Spring, Summer Solstice and the First Day of Summer, https://www.kcet.org/home-garden/8-ways-to-use-california-sumac-for-the-holidays. How do you know when it is ready? Sumac plants generally stand anywhere from 5 to 20 feet tall, and grow in clusters characteristic of plants that clone themselves through root suckers (see also: pawpaws). Rhus copallina is a deciduous Shrub growing to 2 m (6ft) by 2 m (6ft) at a fast rate. In fact, before lemons were imported to Europe, the Romans used these berries to add a tangy taste to their meals. Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina), Smooth Sumac (Rhus glabra), and Shining Sumac (Rhus copallina) sucker profusely, and are despised by people with small yards that need to control them and can’t. Will it grow in the Northern California mountains? California Residents: I agree to opt-in to news and promotions offered by Farmers' Almanac. I grind the berries and use them on all sorts of Middle Eastern-type dishes, great on yoghurt. However, like Eastwood’s good side in the movie, these same species can sooth us as we drive by on the freeway in a race to wherever. Conifers are often called evergreens or needle … Additionally, deer browse the twigs of the species. But sumac's use as a spice is not relegated to the distant past. In the United States, one of the most common ways to use sumac is to make red lemonade. Rhus copallinum is the scientific name of the native Florida Sumac species. It is … The window to harvest runs from August in hotter climates through September and October where it's cooler, but the flavor will get weaker each time a heavy rain comes through and washes a little more tasty fuzz off of the seeds. Desserts and drinks also can be dressed with sumac as a syrup. What is a conifer tree vs. a deciduous tree? Drying the berries and sifting them through a fine sieve, not a flour sifter, gives a good supply of seasoning sumac. It is in flower from July to September, and the seeds ripen from October to December. There is another edible part to the sumac: Young shoots, peeled. I’ve been using Summac on my food since “discovering” it while visiting my daughter in Dubai in 2008. Her article on woolly worm caterpillar folklore appears in the. The large, bright red cones of the edible sumac at the tips of the branches look nothing like the small clusters of white berries of the poisonous plant. Let the berries steep for 10 to 15 minutes. As kids they enjoyed makng this pink lemonade! VERY important. What can you do with sumac berries? Aromatic sumac, Rhus aromatica, is named for the aromatic scent that it has when the leaves or stems are bruised. This large shrub has compound leaves, meaning each leaf is composed of several leaflets. Join our friendly community that shares tips and ideas for gardens, along with seeds and plants. It is a great addition to your condiments, I only have dried, powdered Summac, but I think I’ll try to grow a bush to get a fresh berry supply and try recipes using it. Some people will tell you to remove the berries from the stems first, but I don't really think this step is necessary. Rhus copallinum . If it's good and lemony you'll know it! Sugar to taste. The fragrant sumac has three-parted leaves,… What are commonly referred to as sumac “berries” are actually clusters of seeds that ripen from off-white to a deep, dark red through the summertime. The clusters always grow in a distinct cone shape and are easy to harvest by cutting where they attach to the stem of the plant. The sumacs are a group of 35 species that belong to the Rhus genus in the Anacardiaceae (cashew) family of plants. It’s fairly rare unless you happen to spend most of your time in ankle-deep swamps, it’s confined to the eastern U.S., and it’s easily differentiated from the good stuff by some very obvious traits. However, anyone with known allergies to any member of the Cashew Family should avoid consuming sumac. You can see some of the most common ones and how to identify them here. You can use the berries as they are, or you can dry them for use throughout the winter. “First year shoots off old stumps are the best, but the spring-time tips of old branches are also edible but not as good. The leaves are pinnately compound, which is how botanists describe a single leaf that’s composed of many  small “leaflets”. how can i use the berries already dried on the tree in oct.? *Notes: You may want to avoid consuming Sumac that grows close to roadways because of its exposure to car fumes and toxins. It is hardy to zone (UK) 5 and is not frost tender. The Hidden Secrets Of Making Herbal Medicines…Right At Your Fingertips! If you see pith, which is an off-white core, it is too old. These berries have a tart flavor that is reminiscent of lemons, but not as sour. Fall Foraging: Edible Sumac. If you live in the western half of the United States, or you can’t find any sumac growing nearby, it’s very easy to grow your own. This family does include those aforementioned “Poison [blank]” species, yes, but it also includes cashews, pistachios, and mangoes. They are high in vitamins A, C, and antioxidants. Here’s where it becomes a no-brainer to differentiate between poison and edible sumac: T. vernix (the bad stuff) produces fruits in clusters that hang down from the stem and resemble grape clusters. It’s also prolific in the Old World and the Middle East. Eleven to 31 leaflets are arranged in opposite pairs along a stalk which grows 30 to 50 centimetres long. Staghorn sumac grows wild throughout the Great Plains and the eastern half of the United States. Identification: Winged sumac is a shrub or small tree that can reach 20' (6.1 m) in height, and up to 10' (3 m) around. She specializes in home, garden, environmental and green living topics. People keep it in shakers on the table to season their favorite foods in much the same way that we use salt or pepper. This botanical group is also called the "cashew" family, and cashew trees ( Anacardium occidentale ) are part of it. 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