Monday, July 1, 2024

Winged sumac, a useful understory shrub

A small winged sumac in bloom, which
attracts a wide variety of pollinators.

Winged Sumac (Rhus copallinum) is a deciduous, compact, densely growing, colonizing shrub that is native to all of Florida and the eastern half of North America. It can grow to 10 to 25 feet tall and nearly as wide, although the ones in our yard are much smaller than that. They will grow in a wide variety of situations, but they do best in full sun or partial shade and require good drainage. 

This plant could be used in a hedge row with a variety of other shrubs and is a good choice for naturalizing at the edge between wooded and open areas. Keep in mind that it will be bare for a few months in the winter. It can spread quite some distance via rhizomes or underground roots, so keep that in mind when choosing planting sites.