Family: Anacardiaceae – Cashew Family
Dioecious shrubs; 3.9” to 11.8” (1 to 3 dm) tall or more
Leaves: alternate; compound; 3 leaflets; the terminal leaflet is 0.8” to 4.4” (2 to 11 cm) long, 0.6” to 4” (1.5 to 10 cm) wide; can have hairs
Flowers: 5 whitish to yellowish petals with dark veins, 0.08” to 0.12” (2 to 3 mm) long; 5 sepals; stamens usually 5 or 10; flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant)
Pollinators: other genera in this family are pollinated by insects (specifically bees)
Fruits: cream to yellow drupes
Blooms in Arches National Park: May, June
Habitat in Arches National Park: riparian communities
Location seen: Fiery Furnace, outside Arches National Park in Grandstaff Canyon
Other: The genus name, “Toxicodendron”, means “poison tree” and the species name, “rydbergii”, honors Per Axel Rydberg (1860-1931), a plant taxonomist and the first curator of The New York Botanical Garden Herbarium whose specialty was the flora of the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains areas.
Caution: Rubbing against this plant can produce severe dermatitis in sensitive people. All the parts, including smoke from fires containing it, should be avoided by everyone.
Last updated: February 4, 2023