Fragrant Sumac (Rhus aromatica)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Fragrant Sumac
Give a thumbs up Skunkbrush
Give a thumbs up Lemonadebush
Give a thumbs up Squawbush
Give a thumbs up Aromatic Sumac
Give a thumbs up Lemon Sumac
Give a thumbs up Polecat Bush
Give a thumbs up Three-Leaf Sumac

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Partial or Dappled Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Dry
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Slightly alkaline (7.4 – 7.8)
Moderately alkaline (7.9 – 8.4)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 3 -40 °C (-40 °F) to -37.2 °C (-35)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 8b
Plant Height: 3 - 10 feet
Plant Spread: 4 - 8 feet
Leaves: Good fall color
Unusual foliage color
Deciduous
Fruit: Edible to birds
Fruiting Time: Late summer or early fall
Fall
Late fall or early winter
Winter
Flowers: Inconspicuous
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Spring
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Birds
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Drought tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Self fertile
Pollinators: Bees
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil
Dioecious

Image

Photo gallery:
Location: West Valley City, UTDate: 2012-07-12
By Zencat
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Location: Chadds Ford, PA at Brandywine Art MuseumDate: 2018-08-10full-grown shrub
By ILPARW
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Location: West Valley City, UTDate: 2012-07-12
By Zencat
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Location: West Valley City, UTDate: 2008-05-23
By Zencat
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Location: West Valley City, UTDate: 2010-10-22Fall color is splendid.
By Zencat
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Location: West Valley City, UTDate: 2012-07-12
By Zencat
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Location: West Valley City, UTDate: 2009-10-18It glows in the Fall.
By Zencat
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Credit NPS
By admin
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Credit NPS
By admin
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Location: Hinsdale, IllinoisDate: summer in 1980'stwo shrubs in a driveway island
By ILPARW
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Location: Newtown Square, PennsylvaniaDate: 2014-06-04mature shrub near road
By ILPARW
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Location: Newtown Square, PennsylvaniaDate: 2011-08-05mature shrub near road
By ILPARW
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Location: Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IllinoisDate: summer in 1980'sa line of shrubs
By ILPARW
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Location: Indiana Dunes State Park in northwest IN Date: 2016-07-16a mature wild shrub on a dune
By ILPARW
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Location: Newtown Square, PennsylvaniaDate: 2011-08-05summer foliage
By ILPARW
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Comments:
Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Jan 5, 2018 1:25 PM

The regular straight species grows as a wide, mounded form usually about 5 or 6 feet high, but it can get to 12 feet high. It gets wider by some ground suckers and by trailing stems that root along the ground. It has very shiny, dark, three-lobed leaves that turn a good orange to red to red-purple autumn color. Leaves and twigs smell fragrant if broken and crushed; most people should not get a rash touching this. The male plants bear little, brownish catkins about 1 inch long while the female plants bear small clusters of light yellow flowers in March-April before the leaves emerge. The female plants bear the red berries about 1/4 inch wide that mature in July and often last through the winter, though usually not abundant, and that are loved by birds and are edible for people. The species grows in upland dry locations often on rocky or sandy places on cliffs, bluffs, hills, dunes, and barrens in a native range from southeast Ontario and various areas of western New England & New York down to southern Georgia to areas over Texas, all of Oklahoma, Kansas, & Missouri, spots in Nebraska and Iowa to southern Wisconsin. The straight species is sold by some large, diverse nurseries and native plant nurseries. I've never seen it in the average homeowner yard, but at some parks, office parks, hospitals, campuses, and public sites from landscape designers or architects. The groundcover form of the cultivar of 'Grolow' is much more commonly planted.

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Posted by SongofJoy (Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Jan 15, 2012 7:16 AM

Sumacs are rapidly becoming "the" plants to have for durability, toughness, great fall color and the ability to stabilize soil over large areas. Growing wild in much of the eastern United States in rocky, open woodlands, this Sumac is a great deciduous plant for a difficult spot. It has been spotted growing in gravely, lousy soil with Little Bluestem, Tennessee Coneflower, and Silkgrass where it formed open 6 foot rounded shrubs - kind of straggly but very tough and durable. The bright green leaves look like rounded poison ivy leaves but are non-allergenic and turn bright red, yellow-orange and purple in the fall. Modest yellow flowers appear in spring followed by small dark red fruits (on female plants) in fall. It is the stems that are pungently fragrant. Use Fragrant Sumac in sun or light shade in dryish soil. It can become the backbone of a very low maintenance garden.

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Plant Events from our members
Zencat On May 1, 2015 Plant Ended (Removed, Died, Discarded, etc)
Plant removed. Oversized for area
Plant is growing from stump, 2016
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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Can you ID? I thought it was poison oak at first. by Ewo Aug 8, 2018 7:45 AM 8
Just bought a house and want to know type of plant by Jwcummings74 Jul 21, 2018 6:28 AM 2
10 Green Leaves on Stem by ddfoster9 May 12, 2018 7:01 AM 2
what is good for wet shade under trees also tall by dana Mar 23, 2018 4:30 PM 3
Poison oak? by Italysa Jul 5, 2017 10:25 PM 7
Plant ID. Possible poison ivy? by Rachelfaith05 Jul 3, 2017 9:52 PM 23
Poison ivy? by mrperrier Jun 13, 2016 5:04 PM 17
Anyone know what tree this is? by Mistirose Aug 25, 2013 9:22 AM 5

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