by Stephen Mifsud
   27 Sep 2020      ()
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Rhus coriaria   (Sumach Tree)

Rhus coriaria   (ANACARDIACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands at or after year 2000.

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Profile Date Oct-2010 (last update: 12-Jan-2019)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (Oct-2010) Rhus coriaria retrieved from on 2020-Sep-27

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Rhus coriaria L.
Published in Sp. Pl. 265 (1753).

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Toxicodendron coriaria (L.) Kuntze
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life ]

Plant Family :

Anacardiaceae Lindl. (The Pistachio Family)
9 species from the Anacardiaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Sumach Tree, Common Sumach, Sumac tree

Maltese name(s) :

Xumakk tal-Konz

Status for Malta :

Species that was introduced in Malta after year 1492 and spreads to form established, non-invasive populations. It may become become invasive if it widespreads rapidly.

Frequency :

Very Common     Common     Frequent     Scarce     Rare     Very rare     Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: Macro-Phanerophyte (high trees usually over 10m )
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection [link]:

Protected by law: schedule I of LN200/2011 AND schedule III of LN311/2006. (Strictly protected tree species)

Red List (1989) :

This species has a threatened status and is listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :


Colour of Flowers:

Green or Inconspicuous

Remarks :

The native range of this species has now been identified to be Tajikistan and Uzbekistan (IUCN, 2007) and hence the single established population in mainland Malta made up of male trees only , gives reason to conclude that the species is an introduction. It is not known when it was introduced but does not seem to be archeophyte due to the rather small and single population that occurs on the Maltese Islands. Very old introductions usually lead a distribution of few to several locations as a result of spread by man.

Species Description and Distribution

Habitat in Europe:

Rocky places and scrub at low altitudes

Preferred habitat in Malta:

Open maquis and neglected fields

Botanical Description:

Almost evergreen shrub or small tree up to 3 m. Young twigs and petioles densely hispid. Leaves imparipinnate; leaflets 1-5 cm, 7-21, ovate to oblong, coarsely crenate-serrate, sometimes with 1-2 small lobes at base; rhachis hispid, winged, at least between the distal leaflets. Inflorescence c. 10 cm, the branches more or less concealed by the flowers. Sepals ovate, greenish; petals oblong, white, longer than the sepals. Drupe shortly hispid, brownish-purple.

Distributional range:

S. Europe

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):

Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):

Albania, the Azores, Bulgaria, Crete, France (incl. Monaco and Channel Islands but excluding Corse), Greece, Spain (incl. Andorra but excl. the Balaerics), Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), ex-Jugoslavia, Portugal, Russia and former USSR, Sicily and/or Malta, Turkey (European part)

Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(Euro+Med Checklist, 2017) - Country codes

AE(G) Ag Al Ar Bu Ca(C G H P T) Cg Cr Ct Cy Ga(F M) Gg Gr Hs(S) Ir It LS Lu Md(M) Mk Rf(CS) Si(M S) Sn Tu(A E) Uk(K) [aAz(C G J L M P T) nBr aGe nIt Mk Sa nSi(S)]

Images (11 images)
   Rhus coriaria   -   Image Code: RHSCO-0.
   Rhus coriaria   -   Image Code: RHSCO-1.
   Rhus coriaria   -   Image Code: RHSCO-2.
   Rhus coriaria   -   Image Code: RHSCO-3.
   Rhus coriaria   -   Image Code: RHSCO-4.
   Rhus coriaria   -   Image Code: RHSCO-5.
   Rhus coriaria   -   Image Code: RHSCO-6.
   Rhus coriaria   -   Image Code: RHSCO-7.
   Rhus coriaria   -   Image Code: RHSCO-8.
   Rhus coriaria   -   Image Code: RHSCO-9.
   Rhus coriaria   -   Image Code: RHSCO-10.

Links & Further info

Google Web

Google Images

Yahoo Web

Yahoo Images




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



The Plant List


Vienna Virt. Hb.





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