Sumac Seedlings

My property has plenty of Three-leaf Sumac ( Rhus trilobata), a pretty shrub that has yellow flowers in the spring that produce red drupes in the summer.  By the time the leaves turn red-orange in the fall and start dropping, the birds and wildlife have eaten the berries… so no winter show at my place.

If you can get to the berries before the birds, they make a nice pink lemonade.

I recently collected drupes from a Little-leaf Sumac (Rhus microphylla) that grows in the parking lot at work.  It is smaller and a bit grayer than mine.  It has small white blooms in the early spring before it leaves out.  They turn into red drupes in summer.

Out in the parking lot this one has kept its berries well into winter.  It makes a nice sheared hedge if you require that… very dense.

The mule deer keep mine sheared back, no fuss at all.

I planted a few drupes in a pot in my south window and 2 seedlings are peeking out.  I may add one to my west hedge, but more likely will plant them uphill.  They are a little more drought tolerant than trilobata, so may work in a bare spot.

Both these shrubs are attractive and drought tolerant.  They bloom early supporting native bees and butterflies.

They also feed many small mammals and most birds.  Mule deer nibble at them in the winter.Various Sumacs are native throughout the U.S.  All are worth adding to your landscape if you like easy plants and enjoy watching birds, butterflies, and other wildlife.


About rebeccatreeseed

I am a naturalist raised by naturalists. Treeseed is my earned name, while Rebecca is my birth name. I am of Northern European descent, with a quarter Irish.quarter thrown in. I suspect I was a product of northern invaders into Ireland into Ireland. but hard to say since DNA disproved the family story about Apache blood! I have found some odd ancestors to replace them. Last year I bought 5 acres of pinyon-juniper forest on the side of a mountain in Santa Fe County, New Mexico. I am fulfilling a lifetime dream of a cabin in the mountains and a food forest that will feed me and local wildlife. I want to share this new phase of my life with others that might be interested.
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