Poison-Sumach, or Swamp-Sumach

Another member of the same family is the poison-sumach. They are all

three equally poisonous and act by contact. The poison, or swamp, sumach

is a high, branching shrub closely resembling the harmless species which

grow on high, dry ground. The poison variety chooses low, wet places.

The leaves of the poison-sumach are compound, with from seven to

thirteen leaflets growing from one stem, as the leaves of the

grow; the stalks are often of a purplish color. The leaflets

are oval in shape and are pointed at the tip. The surface is smooth and

green on both sides and they have no teeth. The autumn coloring is very

brilliant. The flowers are whitish-green and grow in loose clusters from

a stiff middle stalk at the angles of the leaves. The fruit is a

gray-green berry growing in scant, drooping clusters. This _gray

drooping berry is the sumac poison sign_, for the fruit of the

harmless sumach is crimson and is held erect in close pyramidal


Witch-hazel (Pond's Extract) is used as a remedy for all of these

poisons, but it is claimed that a paste made of _cooking-soda_ and water

is better. Alcohol will sometimes be effective, also a strong lye made

of wood-ashes. Salt and water will give relief to some. It seems to

depend upon the person whether the remedy, as well as the poison, will

have effect.