Alphabetical Plant Listing

Rhus glabra (Smooth Sumac)

Smooth Sumac, Scarlet Sumac, Vinegar Tree


Flamboyant in autumn, Rhus glabra (Smooth Sumac) is an open, spreading, deciduous shrub with nice ornamental features. Its foliage of shiny, deeply dissected, fern-like, deep green leaves, 18 in. long (45 cm), warms up to brilliant shades of red and orange in fall. Its strong architectural form and elegant silhouette are revealed in winter, after the leaves are gone. Cone-shaped panicles of green-yellow flowers bloom in late spring and summer, followed on female plants by conspicuous conical fruiting clusters, 8 in. long (20 cm), in fall. Attractive to wildlife, they gradually turn dark red as they persist through much of the winter. Native to most of the United States and parts of Canada, Rhus glabra is a suckering shrub that will form thickets over time and has the potential to become a nuisance. Great for naturalizing, on difficult slopes and banks.

  • Grows up to 9-15 ft. tall and wide (270-450 cm). Spreads by root suckers to form thickets over time.
  • A full sun or part shade lover, this plant is easily grown in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils. Fall color will be best in full sun. Tolerates a wide range of soils provided they enjoy good drainage. Remove suckers by digging out all roots.
  • Perfect for landscape areas with poor soils or for naturalizing in wild areas. Too aggressive for shrub borders. Great for slope stabilization (erosion control).
  • Drought and dry soil tolerant, it is also rabbit resistant.
  • No serious insect or disease problems. Keep an eye out for leaf spot, rust, scale, aphids and mites.
  • Native from the northeastern United States to southern Canada.

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Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 9
Heat Zones 1 – 8
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Rhus - Sumacs
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 9' – 15' (270cm – 4.5m)
Spread 9' – 15' (270cm – 4.5m)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Alaska, California, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Drought, Rabbit, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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Malachi Jacobs / Shutterstock, Radu Chibzii, Wendell Smith / Flickr

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.


Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 9
Heat Zones 1 – 8
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Rhus - Sumacs
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 9' – 15' (270cm – 4.5m)
Spread 9' – 15' (270cm – 4.5m)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Alaska, California, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Drought, Rabbit, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Rhus - Sumacs

Guides with Rhus - Sumacs

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