Rhus succedanea L.


Deciduous shrub or occasionally small tree 3-8 m tall. Leaves pinnate. Leaflets 9-13(15), drooping, each 6-12 cm long, bluish below, hairless, unequally divided by the midrib, 12-15 main veins to the leaf edge; orange-red to stunning scarlet in autumn. Flowers yellow, small, in clusters 9-12 cm long in leaf axils after the leaves in spring. Fruits kidney-shaped, 7-9 mm wide. Syn. Toxicodendron succedaneum (L.) O. Kuntze.

Grown for the bright scarlet autumn foliage but now rarely available as all parts of the plant may be poisonous. In allergic people the oily resinous juice causes a severe form of dermatitis (including blistering) after exposure to even small traces of the sap. Symptoms may arise when brushing against the foliage, inhaling smoke from burning leaves or touching objects where the sap has dried (even left from several months before). The symptoms generally last for about a week.

China, Japan, Himalaya.

VIC: Dandenongs (Hamer Arboretum, ptd 1976).

Similar to Pistacia chinensis but with odd-pinnate leaves.

Source: Spencer, R. (2002). Anacardiaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 3. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 2. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

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kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Rosanae
order      Sapindales
family       Anacardiaceae
genus        Rhus L.