Iranian sumac (Rhus coriaria) can spice up urban landscapes by its ornamental aspects

M. Matloobi, S. Tahmasebi
Iranian sumac (Rhus coriaria), sometimes referred to as Syrian sumac, has long been used as a food spice and condiment in many Middle-Eastern countries. In addition to its prominent health and healing properties, the shrub has many ornamental features that could be considered in urban planting designs. The distribution of the plant is scattered, mostly on foothills of many parts of northern Iran, such as Azerbyjan, Qazvin, Albourz and Khorasan. The present study aimed at investigating the plant's ornamental values, especially in urban areas, by evaluating some physical characteristics and visual display. Two groups of plants from two different parts of Azerbyjan state (Motalleq and Ag Boraz) were selected and investigated. Results showed differences across male and female plants in some physical features such as canopy size, number of trunks, leaf morphology and size. Most plants tended to produce multi-trunk forms, a spreading canopy with vivid red leaves and fruit clusters borne in the autumn landscape. We compared leaf samples from two different locations and also from male and female plants by employing the leaf morphometry analysis technique using LeafAnalyser and MorphoJ software. Principal component analysis and Procrustes ANOVA detected differences in leaf shape. We conclude that Iranian sumac, with its small spreading canopy, different size of male and female plants, multi-trunk structure and stunning brilliant autumn colour, in addition to its low requirements for water and nutrients, could be a very worthy and compelling candidate for urban landscapes, particularly in climates similar to Mediterranean regions.
Matloobi, M. and Tahmasebi, S. (2019). Iranian sumac (Rhus coriaria) can spice up urban landscapes by its ornamental aspects. Acta Hortic. 1240, 77-82
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2019.1240.13
Rhus coriaria, sumac, ornamental aspects, leaf morphometry

Acta Horticulturae