Chinese Sumac
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Chinese Sumac
P Native Photo: Thingnam Sophia
Common name: Chinese Sumac, Chinese gall, Nutgall tree • Adi: Tagmo • Hindi: Tatri • Manipuri: ꯍꯩꯃꯥꯡ Heimang • Nepali: भकिअमिलो Bhaki amilo, चुक अमिलो Chuk Amilo, दुधे भलायो Dudhe Bhalaayo, भङ्गिल Bhangil • Mizo: Khawmhma • Tangkhul: Khamkhuithei
Botanical name: Rhus chinensis    Family: Anacardiaceae (Cashew family)
Synonyms: Rhus semialata, Rhus javanica var. chinensis, Rhus amela

Chinese Sumac is a shrubs to small tree, 2-10 m tall, with branchlets rusty velvet-hairy, warty. Leaves are stalkless, imparipinnately compound; axis broadly winged to wingless, rusty velvet-hairy; leaflets 7-13; leaflet blade ovate to oblong, increasing in size toward tip, 6-12 × 3-7 cm, above dark green, sparsely velvet-hairy, below lighter green, glaucous, and rusty velvet-hairy, margin toothed, often rounded toothed, tip pointed. Flowers are borne in many branched clusters, densely rusty velvet-hairy, male ones 30-40 cm, female ones shorter. Flower-stalks are about 1 mm, minutely velvet-hairy; flowers white or pale yellowish-green. Male flowers: calyx minutely velvet-hairy, sepals long ovate, about 1 mm, with fringed with hairs margins; petals obovate-oblong, about 2 mm; stamen filaments about 2 mm, anthers ovoid, about 0.7 mm; disk annular; ovary reduced to absent. Female flowers: sepals about 0.6 mm; petals elliptic-ovate, about 1.6 mm; staminodes much reduced; disk annular; ovary ovoid, about 1 mm, densely white velvet-hairy, styles 3, stigma capitate. Fruit is spherical, slightly compressed, 4-5 mm in diameter, mixed hairy and glandular-velvet-hairy, red at maturity. The milky juice of this and other species causes irritation of the skin. Chinese Sumac is found in the Himalayas, from Kashmir to Bhutan, NE India, Ceylon, Burma, east to China, Korea, Japan, at altitudes of 1300-2400 m. Flowering: August-October.
Medicinal uses: In Manipur, fruits and leaves are used in colic and bark in dysentery. Chinese galls are used in Chinese medicine to treat coughs, diarrhea, night sweats, dysentery and to stop intestinal and uterine bleeding.

Identification credit: Thingnam Sophia Photographed in Imphal, Manipur.

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