top of page


     Sumacs, including Fragrant Sumac, have the best fall foliage.  The red leaves are a standout in the landscape.  If you're not into the spiral evergreens, try Rhus aromatica on either side of the front door.


     The leaves of Rhus aromatica emit a lemony scent when crushed, and in the fall the leaves turn deep shades of red and purple.  Both a male and female plant are needed for fruit set on the females, and these fruits turn bright red and persist in August and September.   Gamebirds, songbirds and large and small mammals eat the fruits. 


     Fragrant Sumac's yellow spring catkins attracts Monarchs and other butterflies and native bees.  Yellow catkins on the males sometimes persist into September.  Rhus aromatica also is a larval host to the Red-banded Hairstreak.


     Fragrant Sumac is less aggressive than other sumacs and makes a nice single plant or clump when allowed to colonize.


     Fun fact: Although its leaves resemble poison ivy, this deciduous shrub is harmless. 


Sumac, Fragrant

3 Gallons
    • Latin: Rhus aromatica
    • Pollinator value: Very High
    • Height: 6 to 12 feet; 6- to 10-foot spread
    • Light: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil: Dry to medium
    • Bloom: Yellow, spring (male)
    • Fruit: Red, summer (females -- male and female needed for fruit)
    • Leaf: Deciduous, red fall, lemony scent
    • Resistance: Deer
    • Landscape uses: Specimen, hedge, large areas where it can colonize, sunny dry spots. 
    • Resistance: Drought, Black Walnut, rabbit, deer
    • More information and native range here
bottom of page