Sumac time

Sumac branches sway in gentle breeze

Sumac branches sway in gentle breeze

Sumac shrubs or small trees grow along country roads in New York State, and even in the midst of towns where the weeds aren’t kept cut back faithfully.  I think some kinds of sumac are poisonous, but most of what grows around my area is the non-poisonous kind.  At this time of year, the bushes produce a tall spike of fuzzy flowers called  panicles, a sign of coming autumn.   Later, they will mature into berries which are eaten by birds and some animals, and spread near and far.
Sumac, beside a country road in New York State, USA

Sumac, beside a country road in New York State, USA

I like to find more information on my subjects when possible, and about sumac, I found:
The word sumac traces its etymology from Old French sumac (13th century), from Mediaeval Latin sumach, from Arabic summāq (سماق), from Syriac summāq (ܣܘܡܩ)- meaning “red.”
As you can see in my photo, the “flowers” are quite red.
DSC_0680 114 9-17-13 sumac spike

Sumac “panicle”

More information on sumac may be four HERE

11 responses to “Sumac time

  1. Always good to read the research behind the writing. You ‘re a proper author, just like the big ones. AND since you so kindly shared with us, I went back into that poem ” Anticipation” that created such furor and revised line 2 or 3. Instead of ” sticky softness” it now reads “soft panicles”. The next line which has in it, ” a toddler after candy” implies stickiness so that was a better than usual word trade, ” panicle” for ” sticky”. Thank you! R
    PS. Folks can find that poem on my blog

  2. Nope. On my FB wall for revised version. Not enough coffee yet.

  3. I know that feeling! 😉

  4. I know the bush but I don’t think I’ve seen them flower. I’m in Queens.

  5. First time to see this!!! Thank you for sharing it! 😀

  6. Pingback: Wildflowers — Asters | Clover's pages

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