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Rhus copallinum

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Plant types and subtypes: Trees & Shrubs, Shrubs, Shrub-like Trees, Deciduous

Light Requirements: sun, part-sun

Water Use: low

Soil Moisture: dry, moist

Soil Description: acid, neutral, rich, average, poor, loam, sand, gravel/rock

Height: 7'-10'

Bloom Time: July, August, September

Bloom Color: yellow, green

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Additional Tags: attracts birds, berries, colonizing, fall interest, naturalizing, ornamental foliage, rock garden plant, showy fruit

Rhus copallinum (winged sumac)
  • Rhus copallinum (winged sumac)
  • Rhus copallinum (winged sumac)
  • Rhus copallinum (winged sumac)
  • Rhus copallinum (winged sumac)

Pricing & Availability

Description

Rhus copallinum

Also known as:

winged sumac

,

flameleaf sumac

,

dwarf sumac

Scientific Synonyms:

Rhus copallina

Description

Rhus copallinum is an ornamental deciduous shrub. It typically grows to 10', occasionally to 25' and the stature of a small tree. The leaves are divided into many leaflets arranged on a long axil, giving them the wing-like appearance to which the species owes the common name "winged sumac". The foliage is attractive, smooth and glossy, and turns vivid shades of red in fall, to which it owes the common name "flameleaf sumac". Male and female flowers are occasionally born on the same plant, but they are usually found on separate plants, requiring the presence of both to produce fruit. The flowers are greenish-yellow, and produced in large, dense, conical clusters. These are followed by showy clusters of red, hairy, berry-like fruit known as drupes that will persist well into winter.

Cultivation

Winged sumac is low maintenance and easy to grow in rich to poor soil that is well-drained. It is intolerant of shade and of heavy saturated soil. It has a suckering habit and if left alone will form dense colonies. Ideal for erosion control or to naturalize large areas. Can also be used to form hedges. Flowering times are between July and September, depending on geographic location. Zones 4-10

Propagation

Easy to propagate by clump division, or by digging up and transplanting root suckers. Can be propagated from seed. Acid scarification, which mimics the process of the seeds passing through the digestive tracts of animals, will increase germination rates. Can also be propagated from semi-hardwood cuttings taken in late summer.

Additional Notes

Winged sumac is an important food source for many mammals and birds in winter when little else is available.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MO, MS, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Rosidae
Order Sapindales
Family Anacardiaceae Sumac family
Genus Rhus sumac
Species Rhus copallinum winged sumac