Wax Tree
  • Botanical: Toxicodendron succedaneum
  • Family: Anacardiaceae
  • Known as: Japanese wax tree, Poison ivy, Poison oak, Poison wine.
  • Old Use: medical, culinary, industry

Wax Tree

Rhus Toxicodendron, or Poison oak, is a creeping shrub from 1 to 3 feet high, with long cord-like shoots, emitting strong lateral fibers; the stems are either erect or decumbent. The bark is brownish-gray. The leaves are ternate, on long, semi-cylindrical petioles; the leaflets are broadly oval or rhomboidal, 2 to 6 inches long, 2/3 as wide, petiolate, acuminate, smooth and shining above, slightly downy beneath, especially on the veins; the margin is sometimes entire, and sometimes variously toothed and lobed, in the same plant. The flowers are small, greenish-white, dioecious, and grow in axillary, subsessile, racemose panicles on the sides of the new shoots. Barren flowers have a calyx of 5 erect, acute segments, and a corolla of 5 oblong recurved petals; stamens erect with oblong anthers; in the center is a rudiment of a style. Fertile flowers about half the size of the preceding, with calyx and corolla similar, but more erect. They have 5 small abortive stamens, and a roundish ovary, crowned by a short, erect style bearing 3 small capitate stigmas. The fruit is a roundish, smooth, dry berry, of a pale-green color, approaching to white, and contains a solitary bony seed

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