Rhus coriaria, commonly called Sicilian sumac, tanner's sumach, or elm-leaved sumach, is a deciduous shrub to small tree in the cashew family Anacardiaceae. It is native to southern Europe and western Asia. The dried fruits are used as a spice, particularly in combination with other spices in the mixture called za'atar.
Distribution and habitat
The plant will grow in any type of soil that is deep and well-drained.
The fruit has a sour taste; dried and crushed, it is a popular spice in the Middle East. Immature fruits and seeds are also eaten. Mature fruits were also known well before lemons to the Europeans since the times of the ancient Romans, who appreciated its sourness and used it in vinaigrettes like lemons in modern times. It is traditionally used and also clinically investigated for lipid lowering effects.
Dyes of various colours, red, yellow, black, and brown, can be made from different parts of the plant.
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- "Rhus coriaria". Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
- USDA, NRCS (n.d.). "Rhus coriaria". The PLANTS Database (plants.usda.gov). Greensboro, North Carolina: National Plant Data Team. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
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- Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd edition, September 2019, s.v.
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- Plants for a Future database accessed August 2010
- Hajmohammadi, Zahra; Heydari, Mojtaba; Nimrouzi, Majid; Faridi, Pouya; Zibaeenezhad, Mohammad Javad; Omrani, Gholamhossein Ranjbar; Shams, Mesbah (2018). "Rhus coriaria L. Increases serum apolipoprotein-A1 and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels: A double-blind placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial". Journal of Integrative Medicine. 16 (1): 45–50. doi:10.1016/j.joim.2017.12.007. PMID 29397092.
- MOHAMMED, Falah Saleh; Akgül, Hasan; Sevindik, Mustafa; Khaled, Bahzad M Taher (2020-06-02). "Phenolic content and biological activities of Rhus coriaria var. zebaria". Fresenius Environmental Bulletin. 29 (8): 5694–5702.