SumacRegular price $5.00
Hardy to Zones 4 to 9
Perennial dioecious bush to small tree, native to the Eastern and Central United States, flowering in showy red-orange spikes to a height of 15 feet. This is a wide and squat bush, which will freely sucker-out and is commonly seen in thickets along roadsides, swamps and waste places. Makes masses of green-white flowers that are a significant midspring food source for honeybees, giving way to upright seeded spikes, very showy, with leaves turning bright red in the autumn. The plant is tolerant of cold, high winds, dry and/or poor soils in the sun to part shade but does not grow well seaside. Traditional uses (TNAM, TWH): the tea of the flower is rich in vitamins, considered harmless and quite delicious. The bark and leaves are astringent and have been used in wound healing. However, caution is advised when using the bark and leaves externally, as members of this family can cause poison-ivy type rashes. It is safest to simply make lemonade out of the flowers. The ground flowers and seeds are also used as an ingredient in the condiment Zaatar. The seeds contain germination inhibiting compounds. Soak seeds overnight in very hot water. Then, refrigerate in moist medium for 4 weeks. Seeds often will begin to sprout during refrigeration. Do not be alarmed, simply plant root-tip-down just subsurface in pots and keep warm (not too hot) and in the light until germination is complete. Another good approach is to pretreat the seeds with hot water as advised, then sow outdoors in very early spring. Prick seedlings into individual gallon pots and grow on for a year before transplanting to landscape. Space bushes 10 to 15 feet apart.
Approximately 25 seeds (open-pollinated, untreated, and non-gmos)