An irregular spreading shrub with branches that touch the ground and often form roots. Velvety twigs. Glossy, somewhat blue-green, coarsely toothed, trifoliate leaves turn orange, red, purple and yellow in the fall. Separate male flowers (in catkins) and female flowers (in clusters) appear on the same plants (monoecious) or, more commonly, on different plants (dioecious). Male catkins form in late summer and persist throughout the winter until eventually blooming in spring. Female flowers give way in late summer to small clusters of hairy, red berries which may persist into winter. Berries are winter food for wildlife. Attracts birds and butterflies and is a larval host. Special value to native bees. Supports beneficial insects.
Although a member of the poison ivy family, fragrant sumac is a totally non-poisonous plant.
Height: 1.5-2 ft.
Spread: 6-8 ft.
Bloom time: April to May
Sun: full sun to part shade
Water: dry to medium
According to Rutgers University, rarely damaged by deer.
photo credit: Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz