General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Tree
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)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 2 -45.6 °C (-50 °F) to -42.8 °C (-45°F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 8b
Plant Height: 10 to 20 feet
Plant Spread: 10 to 20 feet and more from suckers
Leaves: Good fall color
Glaucous
Deciduous
Fruit: Showy
Edible to birds
Fruiting Time: Late summer or early fall
Fall
Late fall or early winter
Winter
Flowers: Inconspicuous
Flower Color: Yellow
Flower Time: Summer
Underground structures: Rhizome
Suitable Locations: Beach Front
Xeriscapic
Uses: Dye production
Provides winter interest
Will Naturalize
Edible Parts: Fruit
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Birds
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Drought tolerant
Salt tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Self fertile
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Cuttings: Root
Division
Pollinators: Bees
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil
Dioecious
Conservation status: Least Concern (LC)

Conservation status:
Conservation status: Least Concern
Image
Common names
  • Smooth Sumac
  • Rocky Mountain Sumac
  • Smooth Sumach
Botanical names
  • Accepted: Rhus glabra
  • Synonym: Schmaltzia glabra
  • Synonym: Rhus glabra var. laciniata
  • Synonym: Rhus glabra var. cismontana

Photo Gallery
Location: Hoffman, NC 
Date: June 7, 2022
Smooth Sumac #35 (RAB p. 678, 110-1-8); AG p. 118, 30-1-2, "Ancie
Location: Aberdeen, NC
Date: October 7,  2021
sumac #35 (RAB p. 678, 110-1-8); LHB p.628, ancient Greek name.
Location: Hoffman, NC 
Date: June 7, 2022
Smooth Sumac #35 (RAB p. 678, 110-1-8); AG p. 118, 30-1-2, "Ancie
Location: My yard in Arlington, Texas.
Date: 2014-07-30
Location: Molly Hollar Wildscape Arlington, Texas.
Date: Fall 2010
Another view of gorgeous color.
Location: Gettysburg, PA
Date: 2014-07-16
Location: West Jordan, Utah, United States
Date: 2021-09-27
Location: Denver Botanical Garden
Date: 2021-07-07
Location: Denver Botanical Garden
Date: 2021-07-07
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2013-09-21
Sangchris State Park
Location: Cheslen Land Preserve in southeast Pennsylvania
Date: 2018-10-03
group of full-grown shrubs
Location: Cheslen Land Preserve in southeast Pennsylvania
Date: 2018-10-03
foliage and hairless twigs
Location: Cheslen Land Preserve in southeast Pennsylvania
Date: 2018-10-03
red fruit clusters
Location: Cheslen Land Preserve in southeast Pennsylvania
Date: 2018-10-03
trunks
Location: Northeastern Texas
Date: Fall
The bright red berries persist thoughout winter
Location: Northeastern Texas
Date: June 17, 2010
Native throughout the US and Canada
Location: Gettysburg, PA
Date: 2014-07-16
Location: Mercer Botanical Garden  Houston, Tx
Date: 2014-05-19
Location: Mercer Botanical Garden  Houston, Tx
Date: 2014-05-19
Location: Denver Botanical Garden
Date: 2021-07-07
Location: Denver Botanical Garden
Date: 2021-07-07
Location: Fairfax, VA | August, 2022
Date: 2022-08-14
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2013-09-22
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2013-09-21
fall colors

photo credit: Richtid

Photo courtesy of: Tom Potterfield
Location: Molly Hollar Wildscape Arlington, Texas.
Date: Fall 2010
Close up of Smooth Sumac in Fall color.
Location: Molly Hollar Wildscape Arlington, Texas.
Date: Fall 2010
The beautiful colors of Smooth sumac in Fall.
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2015-05-25
shrub in summer near other woody plants
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2015-07-14
shrub in summer along fence
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2016-09-02
maturing shrub along fence
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2008-09-02
young shrub with foliage

USDA photo
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2015-05-25
developing flower spikes
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2014-07-24
flowers in spike starting to be fruit
Location: Down
Date: 2009-10-09
maturing shrub in red fall color
Location: Northeastern, Texas
Date: 2012-11-04
Fall color
Photo by frostweed
Location: Northeastern, Texas
Date: 2012-07-07
Location: Northeastern, Texas
Date: 2012-07-07
Location: male
Credit NPS
Location: male
Credit NPS
Location: female
Date: 2004-07-20
Credit SNF

Photo courtesy of: Tom Potterfield

Photo courtesy of: Tom Potterfield
Comments:
  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Jan 5, 2018 12:51 PM concerning plant:
    Smooth Sumac is very similar to the Staghorn Sumac, except it is a smaller plant, usually 10 to 15 feet high, that is normally a large shrub and it does not have hairy twigs or fruit clusters. It also spreads by ground suckers to form a colony. The compound leaves are 1 to 1.5 feet long with 11 to 31 leaflets that turn an excellent red or orange in autumn. It grows in nature in upland sites, liking hills and slopes in a native range from along the St Lawrence River and southeast Ontario, New England down to central Georgia to east Texas up the Great Plains into southern Manitoba and a few spots in the Rocky Mountains. It is fast growing of 2 to 3 feet/year. The big stems live about 30 years before they die and are replaced from the colony root system. The female plants bear the large, terminal spikes of red berries that are loved by many birds and by some small mammals and last from September through the winter. Some large, diverse nurseries sell some and a good number of the native plant nurseries. The average homeowner very rarely ever plants this species, but a very few might like the cut-leaf cultivar. Landscape designers and architects plant a few in some professional landscapes or at public sites as parks. I got two in my backyard that were planted by the birds from seed along the fence and I have let them grow up.
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