This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Shrubs with polygamo-dioecious small green flowers unfolding before the usually 3-folio-late alternate leaves. Flowers spicate or capitate; calyx 5-cleft; petals 5; stamens 5; ovary I-ovuled; styles 3, short. Fruit a small pubescent drupe, the stone smooth, the seed inverted. [Named for C. S. Rafinesque-Schmaltz, a copious writer upon natural objects.]
About 8 species, natives of North America and Mexico. Type species: Rhus aromdtica Ait.
Leaflets 1'-3' long, crenate-dentate, acutish.
Leaflets 1/2'-1 1/2' long, obtuse or obtusish, with few rounded teeth or lobes.
Toxicodendron crenatum Mill. Gard. Dict. Ed. 8, no. 5. 1768. Rhus aromatica Ait. Hort. Kew. 1: 367. 1789. Rhus canadensis Marsh. Arb. Am. 129. 1785. Not Mill. 1768. S. aromatica Desv.; Steud. Nom. Ed. 2, 2: 531.
1841. Schmaltzia crenata Greene, Leaflets 1: 128. 1905.
A shrub, 3°-8° high, ascending or diffuse. Leaves petioled, 3-foliolate, 2'-4' long, aromatic; leaflets ovate or rhomboid, 1'-2' long, 9"-18" wide, the lateral ones sessile, the terminal short-stalked, acute or obtusish at the apex, the lateral rounded or truncate, the terminal cuneate at the base, all crenate or crenate-dentate with numerous large teeth, and usually pubescent, especially when young, often permanently so; flowers yellowish green, about 1" broad, in clustered spikes; drupe globose, red, pubescent.
In rocky woods, Ontario and Vermont to Florida, especially along the mountains, west to Minnesota, Kansas and Louisiana. Consists of numerous races, differing mainly in pubescence. The catkin-like spikes are developed on the branches in late autumn. March-April.
Rhus trilobate Nutt.; T. & G. Fl. N. A. 1: 210. 1838.
Schmaltzia trilobata Small, Fl. SE. U. S. 728. 1903.
A glabrous or somewhat hairy shrub, 2°-6° high. Leaves petioled, 3-foliolate, unpleasantly odorous, 1'-2' long; leaflets sessile, or nearly so, ą-1' long, puberulent when young, usually glabrous when mature, ovate or oval, obtuse or obtusish, the terminal one commonly considerably larger than the lateral and cuneate at the base, all crenately few-lobed or toothed or sometimes entire; flowers as in the preceding species, and fruit similar.
Illinois to South Dakota, Texas, Montana, New Mexico and California. March. Races differ much in pubescence.