The tannin-rich fruit, bark and leaves were used to tan hides. The leaves and fruits were boiled to make black ink, and the dried leaves were an ingredient in smoking mixtures. (Kershaw)
Sensory Aspect: Soft, velvet twigs
Sumac has been cultivated in Europe for centuries as an ornamental prized for its vivid fall foliage and distintive fruit.
Aboriginals made a drink from the fruit which tastes like lemonade and has a high vitamin C content.
Fruit and twigs are an important source of food for moose, deer, rabbits, rodents and birds such as pheasant and grouse. (Lauriault)
Attractive to Birds:
Berries are a preferred food source for ruffed grouse, ring-necked pheasant, eastern phoebe, common crow, northern mockingbird, gray catbird, American robin, wood thrush, hermit thrush, eastern bluebird and European starling. It is also used by over 30 other species, and since the fruit hangs on throughout the winter, is another excellent emergency source of food. Honeybees are attracted to the flowers in spring. (Macphail)
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