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Staghorn Sumac Fact Sheet

Family:  Anacardiaceae - Sumac family
Latin name:  Rhus typhina
Common name:  Staghorn Sumac
Rhus typhina - Staghorn sumac winter habit photo taken on a sunny day in mid Novemeber 2010 Staghorn sumac spring and summer habit Rhus typhina - Staghorn sumac red leaves in fall Rhus typhina - Staghorn sumac hairy twig with winter buds Photo of underside of Staghorn Sumac leaves in summer Staghorn Sumac leaves Photo of underside of Staghorn Sumac red leaves in October Staghorn Sumac leaves Rhus typhina - Staghorn sumac Rhus typhina - Staghorn sumac flowering panicle Rhus typhina - Staghorn sumac photo of winter fruit. Rhus typhina - Staghorn sumac closeup of photo of winter fruit. Rhus typhina - Staghorn sumac photo of flowers Rhus typhina - Staghorn sumac closeup photo of flowers Rhus typhina - Staghorn sumac closeup photo of branch with leaf stems Rhus typhina - Staghorn sumac photo of older smooth bark Rhus typhina - Staghorn sumac closeup photo of older trunk. Texture of bark is much different from that of younger bark.

Staghorn sumac has alternate, compound leaves, 16 to 24 inches long. The leaflets are sharply pointed at the tip and narrowed or rounded at the base.

The edges of the leaves are finely serrated. In summer, the leaves of the Rhus typhina are dark green and smooth above but the undersides are pale. The leaves turn red in the fall.

Rhus typhina sheds its leaves in the fall, but the fruit may remain all winter.

Rhus typhina is all about being hairy. The branches and fruit are very hairy!

In summer, the leaves are green. Greenish-yellow flowers are present during June and July. In the fall the leaves turn a brilliant shade of red.

Compact clusters of greenish-yellow flowers bloom from June to July. The male and female flowers are usually on separate plants, but some plants have both male and female flowers. Only the female plants produce seeds.

Fruits mature from August to September and may persist through the winter.  The fruiting head is a compact cluster of round, red, hairy fruits called drupes. Each drupe is about ¼ inch in diameter and contains one seed.  There may be 100 to 700 drupes in a cluster. 


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Karren Wcisel © copyright 2006 - 2012

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Please ask for permission before using my photographs. Larger sizes and additional photographs of the tree are often available.

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