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Uses

Toxic parts

This plant contains toxic substances that can cause severe irritation to some people[1]. All parts of the plant contain resinous phenolic compounds known as urushiols. Direct contacr with the plant, exposure to smoke or fumes from a burning plant or even contact with pets or animals that have touched the plant can cause severe allergic dermatitis in some individuals. There is usually a latent period of about 12 - 24 hours from the moment of contact, this is followed by a reddening and severe blistering of the skin. Even plant specimens 100 or more years old can cause problems[2].

Edible uses

There are no edible uses listed for Rhus ambigua.

Material uses

The leaves are rich in tannin. They can be collected as they fall in the autumn and used as a brown dye or as a mordant.

An oil is extracted from the seeds[3]. It attains a tallow-like consistency on standing and is used to make candles. These burn brilliantly, though they emit a pungent smoke[3].

A natural lacquer is obtained by tapping the stem[4][5].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

There are no medicinal uses listed for Rhus ambigua.

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Climber

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in hot water (starting at a temperature of 80 - 90c and allowing it to cool) prior to sowing in order to leach out any germination inhibitors[6]. The stored seed also needs hot water treatment and can be sown in early spring in a cold frame[6]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.

Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame[6]. Root cuttings 4cm long taken in December and potted up vertically in a greenhouse. Good percentage[7][6].

Suckers in late autumn to winter[6].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Rhus ambigua. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Succeeds in a well-drained fertile soil in full sun[8][6]. A woodland plant in its native habitat, it should also succeed in some shade[K].

The young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. Plants have brittle branches and these can be broken off in strong winds[6]. Plants are also susceptible to coral spot fungus[8]. Many of the species in this genus, including this one, are highly toxic and can also cause severe irritation to the skin of some people, whilst other species are not poisonous. It is relatively simple to distinguish which is which, the poisonous species have axillary panicles and smooth fruits whilst non-poisonous species have compound terminal panicles and fruits covered with acid crimson hairs[9][3]. The toxic species are sometimes separated into their own genus, Toxicodendron, by some botanists[6]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[6].

Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Rhus ambigua. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Rhus ambigua.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Rhus ambigua
Genus
Rhus
Family
Anacardiaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
7
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    ?
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    x meters
    Fertility
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type











    References

    1. ? 1.01.1 Ohwi. G. Flora of Japan. (English translation) Smithsonian Institution (1965-00-00)
    2. ? Diggs, Jnr. G.M.; Lipscomb. B. L. & O'Kennon. R. J [Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas] Botanical Research Institute, Texas. (1999-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.13.23.3 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.1 Schery. R. W. Plants for Man. ()
    5. ? 5.05.1 Howes. F. N. Vegetable Gums and Resins. Faber ()
    6. ? 6.06.16.26.36.46.56.66.76.86.9 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    7. ? Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers. MacMillan and Co (1948-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.18.2 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
    9. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)