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Rhus copallinum

Common Name(s):

  • Dwarf Sumac
  • Flameleaf Sumac
  • Shining Sumac
  • Winged Sumac
Phonetic Spelling
RHOOS koh-pahl-LIH-num
Description

Rhus copallinum, commonly called dwarf sumac, flameleaf sumac, winged sumac and shining sumac, is a multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub that is native to eastern North America from New York to Alabama and Florida. It is a deciduous shrub or small tree which occurs in dryish soils on hillsides, open woods, glades, fields and along the margins of roadsides, railroad tracks and roads.  It is a large open shrub which typically grows to 10' tall (rarely to 30' as a tree) and spreads by root suckers to form large colonies in the wild. 

It is very similar to smooth sumac (Rhus glabra), except (a) leaflets are untoothed and (b) leaf midribs have leafy ridges or wings that give rise to another common name of winged sumac for this plant.

Its bark is smooth and light brown with numerous lenticels when young.  Large, thin scales develop as the tree ages.

Regions:  Mountain, Piedmont, Coastal plains

Seasons of Interest: 

  Leaf:  Fall                   Blooms:  Summer/late summer            Nut/Fruit/Seed:  Fall/winter

Wildlife Value:   This plant is moderately resistant to damage from deer.  It is a host plant for the Red-Banded Hairstreak caterpillar.  Butterflies nectar at the flowers.  Its fruits are eaten by songbirds, white-tailed deer, opossums, wild turkey, and quail.  Its bark is eaten by rabbits.

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems: No serious insect or disease problems. There is some susceptibility to leaf spots, rusts, scale, aphids, and mites. It tends to spread aggressively by root suckersI

Cultivars:
Tags:
#butterflies#deciduous#birds#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#naturalize#good fall#low flammability#fire resistant
Cultivars:
Tags:
#butterflies#deciduous#birds#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#naturalize#good fall#low flammability#fire resistant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Rhus
    Species:
    copallinum
    Family:
    Anacardiaceae
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    fire in the landscape.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Shrub
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    White
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Hairs Present:
    No
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Songbirds