Transformational Gardening

Disclaimer: Foraging can be fun, rewarding and provide health benefits. As a novice forager, I will be sharing my foraging experiences. However, in order to be safe, always consult with local foraging experts and guidebooks before beginning foraging. Children should learn to forage safely by being guided by experienced adults. Never ingest anything unless you are certain of the identification and safety of the plant. Some plant species are inedible and some are poisonous.

Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina): Images

Date Location Notes Images
June 1, 2010 Southeastern, New Hampshire Staghorn Sumac is a small tree or bush that usually grows from 8 to 20 feet tall. The leaves are alternate and pinnately compound with 9 to 31 toothed leaflets. The red hairy fruit grows on the terminal ends of the branches. You can see from the pictures the red fruit from last year. Sometimes, the previous years‘ fruit can be picked as late as April, but it is better to pick it around August of the year it ripens. Staghnorn Sumac has extremely hairy branches that feel like velvet.

There are other Sumacs that have some similarities. Smooth Sumac (Rhus glabra) (Edible fruit) is similar to Staghorn Sumac, but has smooth (hairless) stems and leaf stalks (petioles). Dward Sumac (Rhus copallina) (Edible fruit) grows 4-10 feet tall, has raised dots on the stem and the 11-23 glossy leaflets have untoothed margins. Poison Sumac (Toxicodendron vernix) (Inedible fruit) has white, hairless fruit hairless stems and untoothed leaf margins. It tends to grow in swampy areas.
Date Location Notes Images
July 17, 2011 Southeastern, New Hampshire Staghorn Sumac harvesting begins. The fruit is almost ripe and it is only July 17th. I harvested some of the ripest ones I can find for drying. Once dry, the fruit will be ground into powder to use as a spice. Have to remember to go back in a few weeks to harvest the rest for spice and Sumac-aide.
Date Location Notes Images
May 20, 2014 Southeastern, Connecticut