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Sumac - Aromatic


SUMAC, AROMATIC  Skunk Bush, Fragrant Sumac

FAMILY: Anacardiaceae

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Rhus aromatica (RUSE err-o-MAT-eh-kuh)

Deciduous   Sun to part shade   Height 4′–6′   Spread 5′–7′   Spacing 3′–4

HABIT: Leaves have three leaflets that are fragrant when crushed. Plant will sucker and spread but it is usually not a problem. Yellow flowers in early spring followed by red berries. Red-orange fall color. Can grow as high as 12′.

CULTURE: Grows in any soil that has good drainage, even in rock. Fibrous roots, easy to transplant. Blooms in April, May, and June.

USES: Naturalizing an area. Attracts birds and pollinators.



Banded Hairstreak. Photo by Tim Jones.


NOTES: Also called skunkbush and fragrant sumac. A good place to see this and other natives is the nature trail at Mountain View College. ‘Gro-Low’ is a compact form. ‘Green Glove’ is a larger cultivar. Native eastern USA to Texas. The Aromatic Sumac is a host for the larva of the Banded Hairstreak and red-banded Hairstreak butterflies. (USDA Native Status: L48)


For more information, visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center





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