Rhus coriaria (*)
Rhus coriaria L.
* Species Plantarum 1:265. 1753
Rhus coriaria, commonly called Elm-Leaved Sumach or Tanner's Sumach is a deciduous shrub to small tree in the Anacardiaceae or Cashew family, native to southern Europe. The dried fruit are used as a spice, particularly in combination with other spices in the mixture called Za'atar.
The plant will grow in any type of soil that is deep and well-drained.
Caution should be used about consuming sumac (see Toxicity, below). The fruit has a sour taste; dried and crushed, it is a popular spice in the Middle East. Immature fruits and seeds are also eaten.
The leaves and the bark were traditionally used in tanning and contain tannic acid.
Dyes of various colours, red, yellow, black, and brown, can be made from different parts of the plant
Oil extracted from the seeds can be used to make candles.
The sap and the fruit contain toxins that can cause severe irritation in people who are sensitive to these compounds. Consumption or contact with any part of the plant can produce a severe reaction in some people.
1. ^ a b c d e f Plants for a Future database accessed August 2010
Source: Wikipedia, Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License