Fragrant sumac is a medium sized, deciduous shrub with a spreading habit. Don’t let the name “sumac” put you off. While it is in the same family as poison sumac, this lovely shrub does not share its cousin’s rashy habits.
This shrub has so much to love. Early Spring interest in the form of catkin-like flowers followed by bright red berries, which are a favorite of many songbirds, feeding them long into the winter months. Interesting green foliage provides privacy throughout the summer, and turns brilliant shades of yellow, purple, and red come the fall. Rhus aromatica has a lovely citrus fragrance, making it an excellent choice as a spreading privacy hedge.
It is known to be deer-resistant, the berries feed birds and small mammals, and it is the larval host plant for the Red-banded Hairstreak Butterfly. This shrub is of special value for our native bees, providing a food source with the nectar and also as habitat, providing nesting material and structure for overwintering. The berries are also edible for humans, making a refreshing lemonade-like drink.
ECO-TYPE: grown from seed likely collected in New Hampshire. Started by New Hampshire State Forest Nursery.
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Rhus aromatica (Fragrant sumac)
SIZE: 1 gallon pot type: shrub sun needs: full sun to part sun/part shade water needs: average to moist soil height: 6-12' plant spacing: space 3'-5' apart bloom time: April, May, June bloom color: yellow
salt tolerant. Some salt exposure should not be fatal to the plant but some leaf burning may still occur.