Rhus typhina (Staghorn Sumac)
Habit: Staghorn Sumac is a low, suckering shrub that usually grows to about 10-15 feet tall. Regenerates through root suckers and will come back to life if chopped down with a bushwhacker or weedwhacker. If you’d like a grove of Sumac it is best to chop it down at the end of the growing season. It will come back with more vigor.
Color: Female Staghorn Sumac plants produce large fuzzy red clusters of flowers in the fall. If you live in the Eastern US there’s no doubt you’ve seen them along roadsides. Fruit clusters will hang onto the plant during the winter. Additionally, Sumac leaves will turn a brilliant flaming orange in autumn.
Culture: Once established it seemingly never dies unless shaded out from above or hit with a serious concentration of Roundup. Prefers moist soil but will definitely grow in dry, normally infertile soil. Often seen in cities and along railroad tracks because it is so adaptable. The only place it seemingly doesn’t grow is poorly drained and constantly wet areas.