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Skunkbush Sumac Rhus trilobata

Phonetic Spelling
RHOOS try-lo-BAY-tuh
Description

Skunkbush is a low spreading deciduous shrub in the cashew family.   It is found naturally in thickets and slopes of canyons and streambanks.  Plant in the full or dappled sun in well-drained soil.  It tolerates dry rocky soils.  

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Autumn Amber'
'Autumn Amber'
Tags:
#bees#deciduous#wildlife plant#moths#deciduous shrub#cover plant#slopes#stream banks#food source#nighttime garden#thickets#nesting sites#larval host plant#nectar plant spring#malodorus#dry soils tolerant#moth larvae
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Autumn Amber'
'Autumn Amber'
Tags:
#bees#deciduous#wildlife plant#moths#deciduous shrub#cover plant#slopes#stream banks#food source#nighttime garden#thickets#nesting sites#larval host plant#nectar plant spring#malodorus#dry soils tolerant#moth larvae
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Rhus
    Species:
    trilobata
    Family:
    Anacardiaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Native Americans valued the plant for its astringent qualities. The fruits were eaten for stomach ailments and tooth aches and were dried and ground into a paste used to treat smallpox.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    North America
    Distribution:
    AR , AZ , CA , CO , ID , KS , MD , MT , ND , NE , NM , NV , OK , OR , SD , TX , UT , WY. Alberta, Mexico
    Wildlife Value:
    Provides food and cover for songbirds, game birds, large and small mammals. It provides structure and materials for nesting bees and the flowers are pollinated by bees. Larval host plant for the Luna moth.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 8 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Very Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    6-feet-12 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Description:
    Crimson sticky berries
  • Flowers:
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Description:
    Dioecious meaning some plants are male and some are female.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Small trifolate leaves that have an unpleasant skunk-like fragrance
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Stems are fuzzy
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Riparian
    Slope/Bank
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Nighttime Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Screen/Privacy
    Security
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Moths
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Dry Soil