Alphabetical Plant Listing

Rhus typhina (Staghorn Sumac)

Staghorn Sumac, Velvet Sumac, Datisca hirta, Rhus hirta, Rhus typhina var. laciniata


Prized for its spectacular fall foliage and showy fruits, Rhus typhina (Staghorn Sumac) is a large suckering deciduous shrub or small tree with picturesque branches and velvety reddish-brown branchlets. The foliage of large, pinnate, bright-green leaves, 24 in. long (60 cm), turns striking shades of orange, yellow and scarlet in fall. Cone-shaped panicles of green-yellow flowers bloom in early to mid summer. Honeybees are attracted to the flowers. The blossoms are followed on female plants by dense crimson berries in pyramidal clusters which persist throughout winter. The berries provide winter food for many bird species and small and large mammals. In winter, the bare, widely forking, hairy twigs resemble the velvety horns of a young stag, hence the common name. Fast growing, usually pest and disease-free, drought tolerant, Staghorn Sumac may spread aggressively by root suckers to form extensive thickets. It is most effective on slopes for erosion control, or in drifts and colonies.

  • Grows up to 15-25 ft. tall (4-8 m) and 20-30 ft. wide (6-9 m).
  • A full sun or part shade lover, this plant is easily grown in average, moist, well-drained soils. Best fall color in full sun. Tolerates a wide range of soils as long as they drain well. Drought, dry soil or rocky soil tolerant.
  • Perfect as a specimen plant, cottage gardens, coastal gardens or foundation plantings.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Keep an eye out for leaf spots, rusts, powdery mildew, blister and cankers. Rabbit resistant.
  • Propagate by seed or semi-hardwood cuttings. Sucker removal may be necessary, in winter.
  • Native to eastern North America.

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Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 8
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, A1, A2, A3
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Plant Family Rhus - Sumacs
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 15' – 25' (4.5m – 7.5m)
Spread 20' – 30' (6m – 9m)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Rocky Mountains, Utah, Southeast, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
Tolerance Drought, Rabbit, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes, Beds and Borders
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage

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Andreas Rockstein, Katya, Babij, Josh Graciano (Flickr), Jaroslav Noska, Anmbph (Shutterstock)

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 – 8
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, A1, A2, A3
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Plant Family Rhus - Sumacs
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 15' – 25' (4.5m – 7.5m)
Spread 20' – 30' (6m – 9m)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Rocky Mountains, Utah, Southeast, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
Tolerance Drought, Rabbit, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes, Beds and Borders
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Rhus - Sumacs

Guides with Rhus - Sumacs

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