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Skunkbush 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'
Tags:
#bees#deciduous#wildlife plant#deciduous shrub#cover plant#slopes#stream banks#food source#thickets#nectar plant spring#malodorus#dry soils tolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Autumn Amber'
Tags:
#bees#deciduous#wildlife plant#deciduous shrub#cover plant#slopes#stream banks#food source#thickets#nectar plant spring#malodorus#dry soils tolerant
  • 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 pollianted by bees.
    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:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b
  • 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:
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Screen/Privacy
    Security
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Dry Soil