Note 3: Comparison of the genera Allophylus and Rhus by Mark Hyde
Allophylus species and species of Rhus both have 3-foliolate leaves and look superficially similar. The following are some notes which may help to separate Allophylus spp. from Rhus.
Firstly, Allophylus spp. have toothed leaflets and so confusion is only possible with those species of Rhus which are toothed.
In flower, Allophylus can be separated by having
petals and sepals in 4s (usually in 5s in Rhus) and in fruit by the ±
spherical fruits (usually flattened in Rhus).
In leaf, Allophylus can usually be separated by the domatia which are never present in Rhus. Unfortunately, they are not always present in Allophylus.
Other possible differences are:
- petiolules present in Allophylus whereas the leaflets are sessile in Rhus;
- Rhus leaves when crushed are said to have a distinctive sweetish, green-apple smell which is not present in Allophylus;
- mid-vein raised on the upper side in Allophylus, usually not in Rhus; and
- the underside of the leaves is minutely glandular in Allophylus, eglandular in Rhus.
Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-17
Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M.
. Flora of Zimbabwe: Note 3: Comparison of the genera Allophylus and Rhus.
http://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/note-display.php?note_id=3, retrieved 26 March 2017