Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Anacardiaceae, Cashew or Sumac Family

The Anacardiaceae, Cashew or Sumac Family is a relatively small family although a few members have significant economic importance. These would include of course the Cashew (Anacardium) actually the type genus of the family and the notable Pistachio Tree formerly included in its own family, the Pistaciaceae.

Also included in the Anacardiaceae family; Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron), Sumac (Rhus), Mango (Mangifera) and the beautiful Eurasian SmokeTree (Cotinus).

Family Characteristics: Mostly trees and shrubs, some vines; flowers mostly small often inconspicuous; resin or milky sap that is foul-smelling.

In North America, according to the USDA Plants Database, there are 22 genera with 75 accepted taxa overall in the Anacardiaceae family. World-wide, The Plant List identifies 77 plant genera with 701 accepted species names in the family.

By far the largest North American genus is Rhus with about 20 species.

References: 02/15/2015, updated 05/05/2017
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database – ITIS search (accessed 04/28/2017).
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 04/28/2017).
Wikipedia contributors, 'Anacardiaceae', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 27 April 2017, 10:05 UTC, [accessed 28 April 2017]