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Rhus copallinum (Winged Sumac)

Winged Sumac, Shining Sumac, Flameleaf Sumac, Mountain Sumac, Dwarf Sumac, Wing-rib Sumac, Black Sumac, Upland Sumac, Rhus copallina

Rhus copallinum, Winged Sumac, Shining Sumac, Flameleaf Sumac, Mountain Sumac, Dwarf Sumac, Wing-rib Sumac, Black Sumac, Upland Sumac
Rhus copallinum, Winged Sumac, Shining Sumac, Flameleaf Sumac, Mountain Sumac, Dwarf Sumac, Wing-rib Sumac, Black Sumac, Upland Sumac
Rhus copallinum, Winged Sumac, Shining Sumac, Flameleaf Sumac, Mountain Sumac, Dwarf Sumac, Wing-rib Sumac, Black Sumac, Upland Sumac
Rhus copallinum, Winged Sumac, Shining Sumac, Flameleaf Sumac, Mountain Sumac, Dwarf Sumac, Wing-rib Sumac, Black Sumac, Upland Sumac

Ornamental with its shiny foliage and showy fruit, Rhus copallinum (Winged Sumac) is a colony-forming, deciduous shrub or small tree of large, open, and spreading habit. Native to the eastern U.S., Winged Sumac is dioecious with separate male and female plants. Showy feathery panicles of tiny pale yellow flowers, 4-8 in. across (10-20 cm), appear in mid to late summer. The pollinated female flowers are followed by conspicuous clusters of hairy, red berries in early fall which persist throughout the winter. They provide food for birds and small mammals when other foods are scarce or unavailable.

Sumac plants are a beacon for a variety of bird species, notably the American Goldfinch, American Robin, Black-Capped Chickadee, Blue Jay, Eastern Bluebird, Northern Cardinal, and Northern Mockingbird. With their vibrant foliage and abundant berries, sumacs provide essential food and shelter, making them a cherished habitat for these avian visitors.

The lush foliage of shiny, dark-green, pinnately compound leaves (9-21 leaflets) turns vibrant orange to fiery red in fall. Fast-growing, easy to grow, usually pest and disease-resistant, drought-tolerant, Rhus copallinum is great for erosion control because of its strong root development. It is useful for massing and naturalizing in dry spots and excellent for wildlife.

  • Typically grows up to 7-15 ft. tall (210-450 cm) and 10-20 ft. wide (300-600 cm). Fast-growing, it spreads by root suckers to form large colonies.
  • Full sun to part shade lover, this plant is easily grown in average, dry to moist, well-drained soils. Best fall color when planted in full sun. Extremely adaptable to varied soils, it tolerates dry, rocky, and poor soils. Drought and salt tolerant once established.
  • Great for stabilizing embankments, native plant gardens, or naturalized areas.
  • Generally pest and disease free. Keep an eye out for leaf spot, rust, scale, aphids and mites.
  • Propagate by scarified seeds, semi-hardwood cuttings taken in summer through fall.
  • Native to the eastern United States.

Requirements

Hardiness 5 - 11
Heat Zones 4 - 9
Climate Zones 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Plant Family Anacardiaceae
Genus Rhus
Common names Winged Sumac, Sumac
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 7' - 15'
(210cm - 4.6m)
Spread 10' - 20'
(3m - 6.1m)
Maintenance Low, Average
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Northeast, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Kansas, Iowa, Michigan, Midwest, Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Southeast, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Southwest, Texas, Oklahoma
Tolerance Drought, Salt, Rabbit, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Banks And Slopes
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Rhus typhina (Staghorn Sumac)
Rhus aromatica (Fragrant Sumac)
Searsia lancea (African Sumac)
Rhus trilobata (Skunkbush Sumac)
Rhus glabra (Smooth Sumac)
Rhus ovata (Sugar Sumac)

Recommended Companion Plants

Hamamelis vernalis (Ozark Witch Hazel)
Sporobolus heterolepis (Prairie Dropseed)
Schizachyrium scoparium (Little Bluestem)
Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Weed)
Baptisia australis (False Indigo)
Symphyotrichum laeve (Smooth Aster)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

Small Trees and Shrubs That Attract Birds
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 5 - 11
Heat Zones 4 - 9
Climate Zones 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Plant Family Anacardiaceae
Genus Rhus
Common names Winged Sumac, Sumac
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 7' - 15'
(210cm - 4.6m)
Spread 10' - 20'
(3m - 6.1m)
Maintenance Low, Average
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Northeast, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Kansas, Iowa, Michigan, Midwest, Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Southeast, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Southwest, Texas, Oklahoma
Tolerance Drought, Salt, Rabbit, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Banks And Slopes
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Rhus (Sumac)
Guides with
Rhus (Sumac)
Not sure which Rhus (Sumac) to pick?
Compare Now

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