Fragrant Sumac Minnesota

Fragrant Sumac (Rhus

Plant of the Week
Fragrant Sumac
Latin: Rhus aromatica

Tucked away in the most obscure part of my yard grows a shrub that is, in its season, as beautiful as any plant in my garden. As a native, it has found its niche under the largest post oak in a site that’s so dry during mid-summer that even the tough perennial weeds fail. Yet every fall the fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica) glows a lavish orange-red that looks like the glowing embers of a dying bonfire.

Fragrant sumac grows 2-4 feet tall and spreads to 8-feet wide by means of sprawling branches that root when they come in contact with the soil. While most sumacs spread readily by underground rhizomes, the fragrant sumac grows from a fairly compact crown and does its spreading by sending its sprawling limbs in all directions.

But don’t get the impression that this diminutive shrub is invasive. In reality, it spreads quite slowly.

Over its native range, which is essentially east of a line from Minnesota to Louisiana, the plant...


Part 2

2012-11-13 08:39:45 by Nurseryman75

In North America, the Smooth Sumac (R. glabra) and the Staghorn Sumac (R. typhina) are sometimes used to make a beverage termed "sumac-ade," "Indian lemonade" or "rhus juice". This drink is made by soaking the drupes in cool water, rubbing them to extract the essence, straining the liquid through a cotton cloth and sweetening it. Native Americans also used the leaves and drupes of the Smooth and Staghorn Sumacs combined with tobacco in traditional smoking mixtures.
Species including the Fragrant Sumac (R. aromatica), the Littleleaf Sumac (R. microphylla), the Skunkbush Sumac (R. trilobata), the Smooth Sumac and the Staghorn Sumac are grown for ornament, either as the wild types or as cultivars


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