Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for November 28th, 2014

Prairie flameleaf sumac fruit ripening

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Flameleaf Sumac Fruit 5928

In the last post you heard that plants in the sumac family typically make up for the small size of their flowers by producing dense clusters of them, and you saw that that’s the case with prairie flameleaf sumac, Rhus lanceolata. After fertilization, those dense clusters of flowers give way to dense clusters of small fruits, as you can verify here in a picture from September 3rd off Seton Center Parkway in northwest Austin. People have concocted sumac-ade from the fruits: I’ve had some, and I can tell you it was pretty tasty. As with lemonade, it takes a good amount of sweetener to offset the tartness of the fruit.

This is the second episode in a miniseries that is carrying prairie flameleaf sumac from the beginning of August through the latter part of November.

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 28, 2014 at 12:27 PM

Prairie flameleaf sumac buds and flowers

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Flameleaf Sumac Flowers and Buds 1092

Plants in the sumac family typically make up for the small size of their flowers by producing dense clusters of them, and that’s the case with prairie flameleaf sumac, Rhus lanceolata. This small tree is known for the rich colors its leaves turn near the end of the year, but its buds and flowers usually get overlooked; now you get to look them over in this August 1st photograph from northwest Austin. Notice the characteristic curving of the compound leaves as they arc around the buds and flowers on three sides.

This is the first post in a miniseries that will carry prairie flameleaf sumac from summer through fall.

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 28, 2014 at 5:29 AM

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