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Aromatic Sumac

Submitted by rbudnick on Fri, 09/06/2019 - 15:14

The sprig I was given is about 73 mm in length from the end of the stem to the top of the longest leaf. There are three leaves on the sprig, one in the centre, and two on each side of the stem in the same location. The one in the centre is both wider and longer than the side leaves. The cutting seems relatively fresh, the leaves are still firm and not drooping. The cut or torn end of the stem is still green inside and produced a little moisture when pressed against the paper. The stem itself appears slightly hairy and is a brownish-red colour which persists into the main leaf vein, turning to a whitish-yellow about half way up each leaf. The upperside of the leaves appear glossy and deep green, resembling leather in appearence and texture. The undersides of the leaves are dark lime green and are noticably more matte than the topside of the leaves. 

The sprig has a noticable scent, likely coming from the leaves and not the stem, which is earthy and slightly spicy. The shine noticed on the top of the leaves could be an oil produced by the plant which also produces the scent. The top of the leaves are slightly oily to the touch supporting this idea. The leaves are oblong and obtuse shaped, with each leaf having 5-6 notches spread over the upper end of the leaf body. The leaf in the centre of the leaflet is noticably more symmetrical than the two side leaves. Based on the small size of the leaves and orientation, I think it is a leaflet from a smaller plant like a young tree or a bush. 

There are abnormaities presented on two of the three leaves. The centre leaf has a black/brown winding pattern on the left side,  which I had guessed was due to some boring insect  and turned out to be correct. It also has a protruding nodule close to the base of the leaf. The left leaf has these same abnormalities as well. The bore pattern on this leaf is far less large, but there are three nodules spread over the leaf body. The nodules are small, around the size of the head of a pin, their base is whitish green coming to a brownish-red point. The nodules protrude from both sides of the leaf but primarily from the topside. It looks like the nodules could be some type of other organism such as a fungus or the eggs of the insect that created the bore marks. However, the identical colouring of the stem and leaf to the nodules lead me to believe the plant produced them itself and they are not due to another organism. 


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