Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Prairie flameleaf sumac fruit

with 4 comments

Those of you who visited this site last autumn saw a few pictures of the seasonally colorful leaves of prairie flameleaf sumac, Rhus lanceolata. Here’s a closeup from September 3 of this year in the Bull Creek Preserve showing a similarly colorful view of a ripening cluster of this delicate tree’s fruits, each typically about 3/16 of an inch long. If they look gooey to you, it’s because they were; that’s a normal part of the ripening in this species.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 26, 2012 at 6:13 AM

4 Responses

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  1. Macro works its magic again! They’re so attractive. They look “sugared” to me rather than gooey, like my grandmother’s bowl of artificial fruit. I suppose that’s actually the effect of the flash on the surface. They do look good enough to eat.


    September 26, 2012 at 7:48 AM

    • From my point of view, macro is always magic, though some of the magic was threatened in the months leading up to this picture because the focusing mechanism in my 100mm lens had been malfunctioning with increasing frequency. Two days later I finally sent the lens off to Canon for repairs, and I was relieved to get it back last week.

      While the little fruits of the flameleaf sumac are tart, people have used them, along with plenty of the sugar that you mentioned, to make sumac-ade, which I’ve sampled and found to be tasty.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 26, 2012 at 8:15 AM

  2. Interesting! The flowers were very pretty too!


    September 26, 2012 at 11:05 PM

    • I’m fond of all the stages of this slender tree, but probably still most of the compound leaves that are our most reliable source of late-autumn color here.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 27, 2012 at 6:22 AM

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