Staghorn Sumac

Scientific Name:  Rhus hirta (R. typhina)

Light: Sun

Zone:  3 to 8

Height:  35 to 50 feet


Flowers:  June to July, yellow-green

Fruit/Seed:  July to February, red berry

Fall Color:  orange-red

Butterflies: host for Red-banded Hairstreak,

Birds:  Sumac serves primarily as a winter emergency food for wildlife. Ring-necked pheasant, bobwhite quail, wild turkey, and about 300 species of songbirds include sumac fruit in their diet. It is also known to be important only in the winter diets of ruffed grouse.


Deer Resistant:   White-tail deer like the fruit and stems.


Native: Carroll & all of Maryland

Idea Garden:


Sumac is good for ornamental plantings and hedges.  It has showy fruiting clusters and excellent fall foliage color.  However, it spreads by lateral roots to form colonies that may become weedy and may displace desirable vegetation if not properly managed. 

Sumac has high wildlife value. Besides birds, fox squirrels and cottontail rabbits eat sumac bark. White-tail deer like the fruit and stems.
It is named for the reddish-brown hairs that cover the young branchlets in somewhat the same way that velvet covers the horns of a stag (male deer).


Additional information


Zone 5, Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8




Clay, Dry, Loam, Moist

Flower Color


Flower Season


Fruit Season

Fall, Summer, Winter


Carroll, Coast, Mountain, Piedmont

Wildlife Value

Butterfly Host, Food for Birds, Nectar

Notable Features

Hedge, Rabbit Resistant, Winter Interest

Local Availability



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