R. Vernix is the most poisonous plant of our country, and it possesses, moreover, the fatal gift of beauty, often alluring unsuspecting persons in the autumn to fill their arms with its brilliantly colored leaves. With the swamp maple, it adds, most of all plants, to the glory of the swamps. Insanity and even fatal results have been known to follow the handling of its branches. Many people are wholly immune to this plant's evil effects, while others are poisoned simply by passing the shrub. Especially if the pores of the skin are opened by perspiration, it is dangerous to stand near the poison sumach. Ignorance in such a case is culpable, and yet how few have really taken pains to learn this common plant, growing by our roadsides and along our favorite wood-paths! A few simple things arc all that it is necessary to remember. First, the leaf-stalks are red, with from 7 to 13 sessile. pointed, feather-veined leaflets rather far apart from one another. Second, the blossoms are a dull greenish white, in loose panicles from the leaf-axils, never terminal. Third, the fruit is a white not red, berry. Fourth, the bark is gray, and the height of the shrub varies from 8 to 15 feet. Lastly, it grows in swampy places. (See illustration, p. 388.)

Poison dogwood poison sumach. (Rhus Vernix)

Poison dogwood poison sumach. (Rhus Vernix)