Species Detail

Rhus glabra L. or R. copallinum L.
Smooth sumac


Scientific Name:  
Rhus glabra L. or R. copallinum L.
Common Name:  
Smooth sumac
Myaamia Name:  
No Myaamia Name
Uses:  
Medicinal, Material
Harvest Seasons:  
Undetermined
Habitats:  
Undetermined
Locations:  
Undetermined
Growth Forms:  
Undetermined

Myaamia Archival Sources  
Rhus glabra L. or R. copallinum L.
Reference Source Reference Type Archival Data Comments
No Reference Specified Use - Food/Material  "smaller species [of sumac]; common in prairies; kitcingwamindji; i.e. looking down - the berries hang down when ripe"
No Reference Specified Use - Medicinal  leaf of sumac combined with root of herb called "Pallaganghy" or "Ochre" which has a ball on its leaves; an equal quantity of each being crushed separately; then the powder mixed together; then put in a kettle over a low fire; add twice as much sumac berries and add water and warm. The water in which the two plant compounds and berries are warmed is given to a woman who has not been completely healed after childbirth; stopping blood flow and releasing blood clots. It is adminstered to drink over two or three days. This drink is also used for those who have lost a lot of blood through their mouth; or from a chest; head or arm wound; curing them quickly. People with heart failure problems; or dropsy are given the entire concoction; not just the water; including the berries and herbs and it works well for them. People with injured or infected gums or scurvy are cured by holding this medicine; minus the sumac berries; on their gums for a long time. They also use this medicine; without the sumac berries; directly on the infected portions of someone who has been burned or frozen or attacked by a venereal disease. "For women confined in childbed who are not entirely delivered; they use the leaf of the sumac; with the root of an herb very common in the woods; and which has on its leaves a kind of ball. They call this herb by the generic name of pallagangy; which is to say Ochre. They take an equal quantity of this sumac leaf; and the root of this herb; they crush the one and the other separately; and after each is in powder; they mix them together; then they put them in a small boiling-pot on a few wood embers; they add to it two times as much of sumac berries; and they make the confined woman drink the warm water in which the whole is dissolved until she is entirely cured. That is to say; in the space of two or three days; each day replacing in the boiling-pot a similar dose; and giving it to the sick one to drink a little before she eats at noon; at four oclock; and in the evening before retiring. The blood comes after the second or third taking; sometimes clotted and large as a fist; sometimes putrid and other times drop by drop. Those who have been wounded in the chest; head; arms; and who lose much blood from the mouth take the same remedy with the same ingredients; and are cured in a short time. Those with dropsy find themselves to be very well; they make them swallow the said drug with a little warm water in a spoon. The others above do not eat the medicine; they drink the water in which is soaked; but they give all together to those with dropsy. Those who have decayed gums; be it from the falling sickness be it from scurvy or other; are cured by pressing for a long time this medicine on their gums; without adding the sumac berries. . . .Moreover; those who are burned are frozen or who are attacked by venereal disease use the same drug applying it to the diseased part; without adding the sumac berries"
No Reference Specified Use - Material  stem of plant great than an inch in diameter is used to make a pipestem: cut thick stem and hollow out with coat hanger or fire; stem used for pipe and pipestone for head. Pipe is decorated with beads. Ken recently made a Miami War Pipe with an elbow-shaped head; using a picture from a book for the head design
No Reference Specified Use - Technology  sumac berries and root of another plant used to make red dye. "To dye red; there is on the prairie of the Tamarcoua [Tamarora] a plant that they name red Micousiouaki; they take the root; they dry it; then then pulverize it in the mortar and then boil it with three times as many sumac berries; the red is very beautiful"
No Reference Specified Use - Medicinal  some sumacs used to treat stomach ailments. "For the stomach runs; some sumac"
No Reference Specified Use - Unknown  "of the sumac there are two principal species in the Indian Territory; northeastern section, 1 the sumac bush or tchitchingwamizhi; it grows thick near the ground and has more tops than the sumach shrub or tree"
Botanical Sources  
Rhus glabra L. or R. copallinum L.
Reference Source Notes Data Comments
No Reference Specified   R. glabra occurs in uplands; oldfields and forest edges; R. copallinum occurs in open; dry places
Related Sources  
Rhus glabra L. or R. copallinum L.
Reference Source Notes Data Comments
No Reference Specified   Both Rhus glabra and R. coppalinum are smaller shrubs; sometimes tree-like; than R. typhina; and both are listed in addition to R. glabra in Small; Coulter; Steyermark and Gleason and Cronquist. Bogue does not list R. typhina R. hirta; but does list R. coppalina and R. glabra; suggesting that Dunn may have been describing R. glabra; and not R. typhina as the tree sumac; and R. copallina as the short; shrub form. However; more information would be needed to substantiate this
No Reference Specified   The dried ripe fruit acts as an astringent; a diuretic and refrigerant; used as a wash in various skin and mucous membrane disorders