Plant DetailShow Menu

Lemon Sumac Rhus aromatica

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
RHOOS ar-oh-MAT-ih-kuh
Description

This low, irregular spreading shrub has branches that touch the ground which often form roots. This plant suckers to form colonies. This plant has many benefits including fall color and being tolerant to the following: drought, erosion, black walnut, rabbit, clay soil, dry soil, and shallow rocky soil.

Fragrant sumac has good fall color (red). Colonial. Mostly dioecious: need male pollinator for female fruit set.

Habitat: Rocky woodlands

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Woodland Garden
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Gro-low'
    Great for slopes and erosion control; plant is under 3 feet tall but spreads about 8 feet
Tags:
#red#sun#deciduous#fall color#full sun#partial shade#drought tolerant#orange#low maintenance#spring flowers#fall interest#rabbit resistant#playground#black walnut#erosion control#native garden#autumn#erosion#autumn colors#spring interest#food source summer#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#food source soft-mast fruit#piedmont mountains UPL#coastal UPL#rocky soils tolerant#clay soils tolerant#bird friendly#dry soils tolerant#butterfly friendly#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Gro-low'
    Great for slopes and erosion control; plant is under 3 feet tall but spreads about 8 feet
Tags:
#red#sun#deciduous#fall color#full sun#partial shade#drought tolerant#orange#low maintenance#spring flowers#fall interest#rabbit resistant#playground#black walnut#erosion control#native garden#autumn#erosion#autumn colors#spring interest#food source summer#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#food source soft-mast fruit#piedmont mountains UPL#coastal UPL#rocky soils tolerant#clay soils tolerant#bird friendly#dry soils tolerant#butterfly friendly#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Rhus
    Species:
    aromatica
    Family:
    Anacardiaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Canada and U.S.
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts butterflies and birds. Turkey, ruffed grouse, robins, and flickers feed on berries, as well as small mammals like raccoons, possums, and chipmunks. Provides cover for small mammals and birds.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Cover/Habitat
    Wildlife Food Source
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    drought, erosion, black walnut, rabbit, clay soil, dry soil, and shallow rocky soil. Heat and drought tolerant.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 6 ft. 0 in. - 10 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Spreading
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Drupe
    Fruit Description:
    Red hairy drupes are on female plants from April to June.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Catkin
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    1 in. yellowish flowers on male catkin in spring that persist; red hairy drupe on female plants in summer; persists into winter. Blooms from February to May.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    This plant has alternate, trifoliate, glossy medium to dark green leaves that are 1.5 to 3 in. long and are coarsely toothed. They have an orange, red to reddish-purple fall color.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Black Walnut
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Erosion
    Rabbits