Of the ornamental sumacs, deciduous kinds are extremely hardy to cold; they are noted for brilliant fall leaf color and, on female plants, showy clusters of (usually) red fruits that attract birds. They tend to produce suckers, especially if their roots are disturbed by cultivation.
Evergreen species are less hardy.
All sumac species thrive in almost any soil, as long as drainage is good (soggy soils can kill them). Poison oak and poison ivy were once members of the genus Rhus, but they have been reclassified as Toxicodendron.Rhus lancea
Native to Africa. Slow grower 20 to 30 ft. tall, 20 to 35 ft. wide. Open, spreading habit; graceful, weeping outer branchlets. Dark green leaves are divided into three willow-like, 4- to 5-in.-long leaflets. Inconspicuous early spring flowers are followed by clusters of pea-size yellow or red fruit that can make a mess on pavement. This species can be trained to a single trunk or allowed to grow as a multitrunked tree somewhat resembling olive (Olea). Makes a good specimen, background plant, screen; can also be clipped into a hedge.
Native to Africa. Slow grower 20 to 30 ft. tall, 20 to 35 ft. wide. Open, spreading habit; graceful, w...
Native to China. Grows 4 to 5 ft. high, 5 to 6 ft. wide, with 1/2 to 3-in.-long, pointed leaves and 1/...
Desert Southwest native often sold as A. farnesiana, which is cold tender. Plant A. smallii where fros...