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About 250 species; see text

Rhus is a genus of approximately 250 species of flowering plants in the family Anacardiaceae. They are commonly called sumac or sumach. Some species (including Poison ivy, poison-oak, and poison sumac), often placed in this genus, are here treated in the genus Toxicodendron, which differs in highly allergenic foliage and grayish-white fruit but is not genetically distinct. The name derives from the Greek name for sumac, rhous.

The genus is found in subtropical and warm temperate regions throughout the world, with the highest diversity in southern Africa.

They are shrubs and small trees growing to 1-10 m tall. The leaves are spirally arranged; they are usually pinnately compound, though some species have trifoliate or simple leaves. The flowers are in dense panicles or spikes 5-30 cm long, each flower very small, creamy white, greenish or red, with five petals. The fruit form dense clusters of reddish drupes called sumac bobs.

Sumac propagates both by seeds, which are spread by birds and other animals through their droppings, and by new sprouts from rhizomes, forming large clonal colonies.

Rhus has sometimes held over 250 species. Recent molecular phylogeny research suggests breaking Rhus sensu lata into Actinocheita, Baronia, Cotinus, Malosma, Searsia, Toxicodendron, and Rhus sensu stricta. If this is done, about 35 species would remain in Rhus. However, the data is not yet clear enough to settle the placement of all species and their proper placement into genera.[1][2]

Rhus sp. nov. A is an as of yet unpublished species in the genus. It is endemic to Yemen. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests, subtropical or tropical dry shrubland, and rocky areas. It was given the status of “vulnerable” by the IUCN Red List.[4]

Some images of Sumac