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Evergreen Sumac Rhus virens

 

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Evergreen Sumac
© Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

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Alternate name: Tobacco Sumac

Family: Anacardiaceae, Cashew view all from this family



Description Evergreen Sumac is a shrub or small tree, from 8 to 12 ft. in height. Its shiny, evergreen, pinnate foliage is tinged with pink in early spring and maroon after frost. Whitish-cream flowers appear in 2 in. clusters and are followed by orange-red, fuzzy fruits.


Habitat Rocky hillsides, gullies, and bluffs.


Range Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas to n. Mexico.


Discussion Not a true evergreen leaves are green through the winter, then are dropped, to be replaced within a week with a new crop. Takes well to hedging but can grow tree-like with a long, straight trunk. Native sumacs make attractive specimen, hedge, or background plants and are important wildlife plants. They are fast growing, generally insect and disease-free, and drought-tolerant. Colonies are often single-sexed, formed from a single, suckering parent. Only female plants produce flowers and berries.


Comments Not a true evergreen leaves are green through the winter, then are dropped, to be replaced within a week with a new crop. Takes well to hedging but can grow tree-like with a long, straight trunk. Native sumacs make attractive specimen, hedge or background plants and are important wildlife plants. They are fast growing, generally insect and disease-free, and drought-tolerant. Colonies are often single-sexed, formed from a single, suckering parent. Only female plants produce flowers and berries.


Exposure Preference Sun to partial sun.


Flower July - September


Native Distribution C. Texas to n. Mexico


Site Preference Rocky hillsides, gullies & bluffs


Soil Preference Rocky soils.


Wildlife Value Feeds bees, butterflies, small mammals and birds.Winter food for many upland gamebirds, songbirds, large and small mammals


 

 

 

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