Scientific Name: Rhus hirta (R. typhina)
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
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).
Zone 5, Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8
Clay, Dry, Loam, Moist
Fall, Summer, Winter
Carroll, Coast, Mountain, Piedmont
Butterfly Host, Food for Birds, Nectar
Hedge, Rabbit Resistant, Winter Interest