Sumac

Sumac

This is Mediterranean origin little tree with 1-3 m. hight. It has hairy small leaves. Its berries is coral red where it takes its name. This spice comes from the berries. It is an essential ingredient in spome Mediterranean cuisine, being preferred to lemon for sourness and astringency.

Roman times when there was little access to lemons, the Romans had to look for other ways to create that citrus pucker. North American Indians traditionally used Sumac in the preparation of sour beverages.

Description and Cultivation

Sumac is shrub and small tree that can reach a height of 1-10 metres. It has spirally arranged leaves. The flowers are in dense panicles or spikes 5-30 centimetres long. The fruits from dense clusters of reddish drupes called sumac bobs. The dried drupes of some species are ground to produce a tangy purple spice. It is propogated by seed and by new shoots from rhizomes, forming large clonal colonies. The berries are dried and crushed to from a coarse purple-red powder.

Scientific Classification
Kingdom : Plantea
Division : Magnoliophyta
Class : Magnoliopsida
Order : Sapindales
Family : Anacardiaceae
Genius : Rhus