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The east Asian connection is considerable. Of the approximately thirty Toxicodendron species in the world, more than twenty are indigenous to eastern Asia, and only a small number are indigenous to the western hemisphere (Hauser 1996). There have been literary references of these toxic plants in writings of Chinese scholars back to the seventh century; seeds were found in the medicine bag of a thirteenth century southwestern US American Indian, and some seeds found in the cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado were radiocarbon-dated as to having grown in the 13th century (Hauser 1996).
The Archives in Dermatology in 1987 announced that a 35 million year old fossil of a poison sumac leaf had been found in volcanic ash deposits in central Oregon (Hauser 1996). This could mean that Homo sapiens have been potentially feeling the virulent and annoying effects from the Toxicodendron species for quite some time.