The Wenatchee World

Weather:

Weather

The latest extended forecast from The Weather Channel

Remove this weather forecast

Tonight

Lo33° Slight Chc Snow

Sunday

Hi42° Chance Rain/Snow

Sunday Night

Lo32° Increasing Clouds

Monday

Hi41° Mostly Cloudy

Monday Night

Lo35° Chance Rain

Tuesday

Hi46° Chance Rain

Tuesday Night

Lo40° Mostly Cloudy

Wednesday

Hi48° Partly Sunny

Wednesday Night

Lo33° Mostly Cloudy

Thanksgiving Day

Hi43° Mostly Cloudy

When Life Gives You Sumac, Make Lemonade...

Send to Kindle
Print This
rhusglabruma

Smooth sumac, Rhus glabra, can be easily spotted in and around the valley by its riotously orange and red leaves. Of all our natives, this is one of the showiest in fall. Best left appreciated in the wild, this plant spreads by underground rhizomes (specialized roots)- and is impractical for most people to try to control in a small yard.

Sometimes this plant is mistaken for poison sumac, Toxicodendron vernix, a plant that grows in the eastern US and has the same itchy properties as poison ivy, Toxicodendron rydbergii, although closely related, smooth sumac doesn't have the same oil (urushiol) and won't make you itch even if you roll in it.

The red fruits of smooth sumac were used by Indians to make a refreshing beverage that was tart and tasted much like lemonade. The plant was also a medicine, used in treating everything from venereal diseases to difficult pregnancies. One of the more common uses of the plant was to chew leaves or other parts of the plant for tooth aches or a sore throat.

Looking north from Saddlerock, Ponderosa pine, Pinus ponderosa, our most common pine tree east of the Cascades. View from the backside of Saddlerock, looking southeast and downriver.

All comments are moderated before appearing. For more information, please read the approval guidelines. Questions? See our Disqus commenting FAQ or our full commenting policy.

Comments Help

A few important points:

  • You must have a Disqus account to comment (your Wenatchee World login and Disqus login are completely separate)
  • You must provide your first and last name
  • Your comment must be civil

For more information see our Disqus commenting FAQ or our full commenting policy