Rhus succedanea var. himalaica Hook.f. from Kashmir: 7 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (4)

Rhus succedanea var. himalaica Hook.f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 2:12. 1876.

Tree can be confused with Ailanthus altissima also growing commonly in Kashmir valley, but can be differentiated by much thinner totally entire glabrous leaves (somewhat thicker, serrate and hairy beneath in A. altissima), smaller flower and fruit being a small up to 1 cm long drupe (3-5 cm long samara in A. altissima). Deciduous tree with glabrous branches; leaves up to 50 cm long, imparipinnate with 9-13 leaflets, menbranous; flowers pale yellowish-white, in pubescent panicles shorter than leaves; calyx lobes ovate-obtuse; petals pale yellowish-green; styles 3; fruit a drupe up to 8 mm broad, slightly longer, yellowish brown.

I was first introduced to this tree back in 1971 when returning after a collection trip to Dachhigam sanctuary (my research area) I rushed to a doctor with lots of itching and blisters on my arms and hands. Doctor asked me if I had touched some new plant, and I got the answer. Juice of this plant (cut twigs in my case) can cause skin irritation.

Photographed from Dachhigam, Kashmir.

Yes, this is Sumac.. Thanks for the flower picture , I never went too near to look this closely, Hope you wer safe distance this time around.
colloquially called Poison sumac… name implies stay away from its sap or the “oil” on the surface of the leaves…just like POiSON IVY and POISON OAK” in north america, grows in road sides where the disturbed soil is …
Usually all SUMACs do not grow as majestically tall or wide as the Ailanthus altissima… so once they are fully grown they can be distuinguished… and the sumac leaves also turn red before falling off in winter.
DID you ever get to photograph their berries?

Luckily I have some photographs of drupe (not ripe though) taken last year on July 30. This year I photographed flowers in May.

I am uploading the photographs of drupes.

Thank you,…, these berries are different looking…
these are separate, the bunch seems pointing towards the earth…
as opposed to the poison sumac berry bunches seen in north america…
not sure if it occurs in SF where you are right ow but if you go to the mountains or into oregon I have seen them… since they are weeds never took time to really photograph them… but being a keen botanist I am sure you’ll spot them… very soon the leaves would change colors too… their berries individually are quite small… but tightly packed.. almost as tightly as millet or jowar is packed…
still with the difference in berries… the leaves /twigs/juice behaved like a rhus anyway… family of allergenic plants… Lesson to learn. I did. Thanks

Thanks … for useful information. I would surely check for it here.

I found out that I had uploaded this plant in 2012, and we had long discussion on this.

The correct name according to the plant list is Toxicodendron vernicifluum (Stokes) F.A. Barkley
Incidentally it is already on Flowers of India by me.

now I remember
yes I had always wondered if the Chinese worker in the furniture factory that uses this lacquer upto 30 coats to get that very durable shine  … does he/they suffer from dermatitis or other disorders…
can’t seem to get any papers from old Chinese literature.
may be they have self preserving techniques… or some thing to rub or cover the hands/fingers with?


ID Help Needed-Valley of Flowers Trip-Trees- 02 : 7 posts by 4 authors. 1 correct image as above.
Kindly help me with the ID of these shrub/tree seen very commonly while walking from Govindghat (actually from Pulna) to Ghangharia in Uttarakhand on 04-08-2018.
Looking at the leaf and fruit, I feel this is something in the Oleaceae family….

I feel it may be Anacardiaceae

A guess. Rhus species.

Thanks a lot …. Yes, you seem to be right…its Anacardaceae

Thanks …  Somehow available images of Rhus does not seem to match. Maybe we should wait for some more ID confirmation…

Pl. try checking comparative images at


Yes, appears closer to Rhus/Toxicodendron as per comparative images at Anacardiaceae




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