Maine southward to Florida and west-ward.
Flowers: growing incompact terminal panicles. Fruit: velvety, crimson hairy berries, clustered in bunches nine to ten inches long; acid and pleasant to the taste. Leaves: one foot long; odd-pinnate; divided into eleven to thirty-one lanceolate, serrate, glabrous leaflets. A shrub usually four to twelve feet tall, although at times reaching twenty feet high.
"Still sits the schoolhouse by the road,
A ragged beggar sunning; Around it still the sumachs grow
And blackberry vines are running." - Whittier.
What an irresistible charm the sumacs must have lent to the little schoolhouse that Whittier tells us about, and how often the girls and boys must have thrust their firm, little fingers in among the closely packed bunches of berries.
R. glabra is our most common species of the fields and waysides and is very decorative in the autumn. The shape of the clusters and their crimson colour at once gain our confidence, as it should be remembered that the berries of the poisonous species of the swamps, R. Vernix, page 53, are whitish and grow in axillary panicles.