Seed ID

Anacardiaceae and Sapindaceae

Plant Photo Scientific Name Common Name and Description Seed Photo
Sumac Plant Rhus glabra Common Name: Smooth Sumac or Scarlet Sumac
Leaves: Leaflets 11-31, lanceolate to oblong-lanceolate, to 12 cm long, sharply serrate, glaucous beneath
Flowers: Greenish, in a large dense terminal panicle to 25 cm long, puberulous (slightly hairy)
Fruit: Scarlet, viscid-pubescent, compressed, ~4 mm in diameter
Habitat: On dry sandy hillsides and banks
Range: East Texas west to Brazos, Eastland and Armstrong counties; from New England and Quebec south to Florida, Texas, Arizona and northern Mexico
Group: Dicot
Family: Anacardiaceae
Growth Habit: Tree/Shrub - 3 m high, bright autumn foliage and scarlet fruiting panicles
Duration: Perennial
U.S. Nativity: Native
Sumac Seed
Heartseed Cardiospermum halicacabum Common Name: Heartseed or Balloon Vine
Leaves: Alternate, biternate; leaflets ovate-lanceolate to rhombic-lanceolate or narrowly lanceolate, acuminate at apex, incisely lobed and toothed, to about 8 cm long and 3 cm wide
Flowers: About 4 mm long; petals obovate yellowish or whitish, racemose-paniculate or corymbose clusters
Fruit: Membranaceous 3-lobed 3-celled inflated pod 3-4.5 cm in diameter; seeds black, 5 mm in diameter, cordate scar gives this plant its name
Habitat: Sprawling over ground and trailing over weeds and bushes in open waste ground or brushy areas in northeast, central, and south Texas; widespread in warmer regions of the Western Hemisphere
Range: Texas; most of the eastern United States
Group: Dicot
Family: Sapindaceae
Growth Habit: Vine/Subshrub/Forb/Herb - stem wiry, several-ribbed
Duration: Annual/Biennial/Perennial
U.S. Nativity: Native
Buckeye Ungnadia speciosa Common Name: Mexican Buckeye or Texas Buckeye
Leaves: Leaflets 3-7, ovate to ovate-lanceolate, acuminate, serrate, to 12 cm long and 4 cm wide, pubescent beneath when young but soon glabrate
Flowers: Lateral fascicles, appearing before or with the leaves from the axils of the preceding season, pink to purplish-pink, fragrant; calyx deeply 5-lobed; petals 4 or 5, obovate, 7-10 cherry red stamens
Fruit: Large somewhat woody stipitate 3-lobed smoothish pod, pale-green, often suffused with red, 3.5-5 cm thick; seeds spherical, 1-1.5 cm in diameter, dark-brown to blackish, poisonous
Habitat: In rocky areas in canyons and on slopes and ridges
Range: in south, central, and west Texas, east to Dallas county; in New Mexico and Mexico
Group: Dicot
Family: Sapindaceae
Growth Habit: Tree - rarely 10 m high with a trunk 2 dm in diameter
Duration: Perennial
U.S. Nativity: Native


Thumbnails of the plant photos were copied from those photos produced by the Texas A&M Bioinformatics Working Group which can be found at the Vascular Plant Image Gallery in the Flowering Gateway. When clicking on the thumbnail your are taken to their originals.

Thumbnails and enlargements of seed photos are from my own personal collection.

Some plant information has been taken from these sources:

  • Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas, Donovan S. Correll and Marshall C. Johnston, University of Texas at Dallas, 1979.

  • USDA, NRCS. 2001. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.1. National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

  • Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines of the Southwest: A guide for the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas, Robert A. Vines, University of Texas Press, 1994.