Rhus glabra Anacardiaceae
Smooth Sumac, Rocky Mountain Sumac, Red Sumac, Western Sumac
- Deciduous, thicket-forming shrub, to 15 ft (4.5 m) tall and similar spread, branches thick, pubescent and light reddish-brown at first, later becoming grayish-brown and smooth, covered with a waxy bloom, leaf scare horseshoe shaped. Leaves alternate, pinnately compound, 30-45 cm long, 11-31 leaflets, each about lanceolate to oblong-lanceolate, 5-10 cm long, round base, apex acute or tapering, margins serrate, dark green above, pale green to whitish-green below; bright red fall color. Dioecious, male and female plants. Female flowers small, greenish-yellow to white, in elongated terminal clusters (panicles), 15-25 cm long. Fruit bright red, glandular drupe, each about 5 mm, in dense, hairy clusters which remain on bare branches in winter.
- Sun. At its best in slightly acidic to neutral soils with sunny exposures, but grows well in a wide variety of soil types and conditions. Sometimes considered an invasive weed.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 3 Native to much of North America, from Maine to central British Columbia south to Florida and northern Mexico. Hybridizes with Rhus typhina.
- glabra: without hairs, smooth.