Beware! Plant Native to Minnesota Could Leave you “Itching” to Know More.
Literally, yesterday I was driving home and admiring the fall colors and I was looking at the smaller vibrant red plant on the side of the road and thinking, "seriously, what is that plant, I see it ALL the time"? Glad to see I am not the only one who has been wondering, because someone asked my question on reddit and I got more answers than I was expecting and have learned a lot. Maybe you will too.
I would rank that experience as the most uncomfortable 8 days of my life. I had hacked my way through some wild sumac to access a geodetic marker on a rainy Friday and it didn't affect me until the next morning. I initially thought I had microscopic chiggers hatching on my skin as I was sitting in the sun at MN Stat Fair. It was so itchy. Thought taking a hot antiseptic/Epsom salt bath would kill them but instead I continued to blister all over the left side of my body (all over) over the next 4 days. At the doctor on Thursday, they informed me it was actually a sun-activated poisonous oil that got spread around my body during the rain.
That really got me researching this pretty little plant I always see. Turns out there are two different types of sumac we should know about here, with one being more poisonous (like mentioned above) and one that is used as a spice or can be seen from Lunaseed's response even more:
How do you tell the difference between the two different species? From my research I found Dignity Health that says,
Poison sumac has clusters of white or light-green berries that sag downward on it's branches, while the red berries of harmless sumac sit upright
They say 'the more you know', right? Now go off into the world knowing a little more about what Lee_Doff hilariously described as,
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