green, white, yellow
July - September
1.5 - 10.0
Easily distinguished from other small trees with compound leaves and by its rachis which is conspicuously winged.
Seeds germinate at 68-77 F (20-25 C) in darkness or diffused light (Mitchel 1926). Germination is improved by mechanical scarification or nicking.
Quail and other birds eat the fruits. Cattle and deer may eat twigs during winter.
Sumac is a small tree that invades prairie in the absence of fire. It spreads vigorously by its rhizomatous root system, becoming quite invasive. It suckered vigorously after a winter burn, nearly doubling its coverage, at Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. However, successive fires should control this invasive shrub. It occurs in upland prairies, pastures, open woods, the edge of woods, country roads and along railroad tracks. The genus Rhus gets its scientific name from the Greek word for sumac "rhous." It grows on rocky hills, in woods, bottomlands, and along streams in Louisiana and east Texas. It ranges from New England south to Georgia, and west to Texas. The young shoots may be eaten in spring as a salad. The berries can be steeped in water, then strained, to make a lemonade-like drink. The berries have also been boiled for use as a remedy for sore throats (Chase 1965). The berries may also be sucked to relieve thirst.
Rocky open wooded hillsides, prairies, thickets, abandoned fields, roadsides, generally acidic soils, bottomlands.