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Sugar Sumac

Natural History

The Sugar Sumac is a member of the cashew or sumac family. The plant appears as a shrub or small green tree that may rise to 15 feet in height and has thick, rubbery, light green leaves which grow to 3 inches in length and are curved upwards along the center vein. The plant grows along mountain slopes in chaparral and in desert canyons at elevations between 3000 - 5000 feet.

The fruit of the Sugar Sumac was used by Native Americans as a sweetener.

The Sugar Sumac blooms between February and March producing clusters of pinkish buds, followed by reddish, hairy fruits to 1/8 inch in diameter.

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