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Rhus coriaria

Rhus coriaria (*)

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids II
Ordo: Sapindales

Familia: Anacardiaceae
Subfamilia: Anacardioideae
Genus: Rhus
Species: Rhus coriaria
Varietas: R. c. var. zebaria

Rhus coriaria L., 1753

Rhus amoena Salisb.
Rhus ornifolia Pall.
Rhus sumac Targ.
Toxicodendron coriaria (L.) Kuntze

Native distribution areas:

Continental: Europe
European Russia, France, Malta, Sicily, Italy, Montenegro, Croatia, Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Crimea, Cyprus (C-Mountains, N-Cyprus), Greece, Crete, East Aegaean Isl., Rhodos, European Turkey,
Continental: Asie
Northern Caucasus, Armenia, Georgia [Caucasus], Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkey (Inner Anatolia, N-Anatolia, NE-Anatolia, NW-Anatolia: Bithynia, S-Anatolia, SE-Anatolia, SSW-Anatolia, W-Anatolia, WN-Anatolia), Iran (EC-Iran, NE-Iran: Mts., N-Iran, Iranian Aserbaijan, S-Iran), Iraq (NE-Iraq, NW-Iraq), Israel (coastal W-Israel, N-Israel), Jordania (S-Jordania, W-Jordania), Lebanon (Antilebanon, C-Lebanon, coastal W-Lebanon), Sinai peninsula (S-Sinai), Syria (C-Syrian Desert, Jbel Druze), Afghanistan (Herat, Kabul),
Continental: Africa
Regional: Macaronesia
Azores (Sao Miguel Isl., Terceira, Graciosa, Sao Jorge, Pico, Flores Isl., Corvo Isl.), Canary Isl. (Gran Canaria, Tenerife, La Gomera, Hierro, La Palma Isl.)

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition

Linnaeus, C. 1753. Species Plantarum. Tomus I: 265. Reference page.


Hassler, M. 2018. Rhus coriaria. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2018. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2018 Aug. 11. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2018. Rhus coriaria. Published online. Accessed: Aug. 11 2018.
The Plant List 2013. Rhus coriaria in The Plant List Version 1.1. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2018 Aug. 11.
Tropicos.org 2018. Rhus coriaria. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2018 Aug. 11.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Rhus coriaria in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 07-Oct-06.

Vernacular names
čeština: škumpa koželužská
español: Zumaquero
suomi: Parkkisumakki, välimerensumakki
italiano: Sommaco
македонски: Руј
русский: Сумах дубильный, Сумак дубильный

Rhus coriaria, commonly called Sicilian sumac,[3] tanner's sumach,[4] or elm-leaved sumach, is a deciduous shrub to small tree in the cashew family Anacardiaceae. It is native to southern Europe and western Asia.[2] The dried fruits are used as a spice, particularly in combination with other spices in the mixture called za'atar.


The word originally comes from Aramaic summāqā 'red', via Arabic, Latin, and French.[5]
Distribution and habitat

Rhus coriaria is native to the Eastern Mediterranean, Crimea, Caucasus and northern Iran, but is now naturalized in most of the Mediterranean Basin (including Macaronesia).[6]

The plant will grow in any type of soil that is deep and well-drained.[7]

The fruit has a sour taste; dried and crushed, it is a popular spice in the Middle East.[7] Immature fruits and seeds are also eaten. Mature fruits were also known well before lemons to the Europeans since the times of the ancient Romans, who appreciated its sourness and used it in vinaigrettes like lemons in modern times. It is traditionally used and also clinically investigated for lipid lowering effects.[8]

The leaves and the bark were traditionally used in leather tanning and contain tannic acid.

Dyes of various colours, red, yellow, black, and brown, can be made from different parts of the plant.[7]

Oil extracted from the seeds can be used to make candles.[7] It has been reported that the plant has significant antioxidant, antimicrobial, anticancer and DNA protective activity.[9]

Cultivated R. coriaria, with olive trees, in Spain

Spice (ground fruit) for sale in Istanbul

Spice, close-up


Rivers, M.C.; Harvey-Brown, Y. (2020). "Rhus coriaria". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2020: e.T63485A112727303. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-3.RLTS.T63485A112727303.en. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
"Rhus coriaria". Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
USDA, NRCS (n.d.). "Rhus coriaria". The PLANTS Database (plants.usda.gov). Greensboro, North Carolina: National Plant Data Team. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
BSBI List 2007 (xls). Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd edition, September 2019, s.v.
"Rhus coriaria" (PDF). Flora Iberica. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
Plants for a Future database accessed August 2010
Hajmohammadi, Zahra; Heydari, Mojtaba; Nimrouzi, Majid; Faridi, Pouya; Zibaeenezhad, Mohammad Javad; Omrani, Gholamhossein Ranjbar; Shams, Mesbah (2018). "Rhus coriaria L. Increases serum apolipoprotein-A1 and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels: A double-blind placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial". Journal of Integrative Medicine. 16 (1): 45–50. doi:10.1016/j.joim.2017.12.007. PMID 29397092.
MOHAMMED, Falah Saleh; Akgül, Hasan; Sevindik, Mustafa; Khaled, Bahzad M Taher (2020-06-02). "Phenolic content and biological activities of Rhus coriaria var. zebaria". Fresenius Environmental Bulletin. 29 (8): 5694–5702.

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