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Rhus ovata

Sugar Bush
Anacardiaceae
Evergreen, Shrubs

RHUS

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 ovata

Native to dry slopes away from coast in Southern California, Baja California. Upright or spreading habit. Typically grows 4 to 10 ft. high and wide, though it can be shorter or taller. Takes well to pruning. Glossy, leathery leaves are 1 1/2 to 3 in. long, somewhat trough shaped, pointed at tips. Dense clusters of white or pinkish spring flowers are followed by small, reddish, hairy fruit coated with a sugary secretion.

Same landscape uses as species Rhus integrifolia but for inland areas rather than seacoast. Rarely bothered by pests or diseases.

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