Common Name: staghorn sumac
Type: Deciduous shrub
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 3.00 to 6.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 6.00 feet
Bloom Time: July
Bloom Description: Greenish-yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Leaf: Colorful, Good Fall
Tolerate: Rabbit, Drought, Erosion, Dry Soil, Black Walnut
Easily grown in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Tolerant of a wide range of soils except for those that are poorly drained. Generally tolerant of urban conditions. This is a suckering shrub that will form thickets in the wild via self-seeding and root suckering.
TIGER EYES will slowly spread by suckering, but is not aggressive as is the case with species plants.
Rhus typhina, commonly called staghorn sumac, is the largest of the North American sumacs. It is native to woodland edges, roadsides, railroad embankments and stream/swamp margins from Quebec to Ontario to Minnesota south to Georgia, Indiana and Iowa. This is an open, spreading shrub (sometimes a small tree) that typically grows 15-25’ tall. It is particularly noted for the reddish-brown hairs that cover the young branchlets in somewhat the same way that velvet covers the horns of a stag (male deer), hence the common name. It is also noted for its ornamental fruiting clusters and excellent fall foliage color. Large, compound, odd-pinnate leaves (each to 24” long) are bright green above during the growing season and glaucous beneath. Leaves turn attractive shades of yellow/orange/red in autumn. Each leaf has 13-27 toothed, lanceolate-oblong leaflets (each to 2-5” long). Tiny, greenish-yellow flowers bloom in terminal cone-shaped panicles in late spring to early summer (June-July), with male and female flower cones primarily occurring on separate plants (dioecious). Female flowers produce showy pyramidal fruiting clusters (to 8” long), with each cluster containing numerous hairy, berry-like drupes which ripen bright red in autumn, gradually turning dark red as they persist through much of the winter. Fruit is attractive to wildlife.
Genus name comes from the Greek name for one species, Rhus coriaria.
Specific epithet means like the genus Typha (cattail plant) in reference to the velvety young branches.
TIGER EYES is a dwarf, golden-leaved, staghorn sumac cultivar that typically matures to only 6’ tall and as wide. It was discovered in a cultivated nursery setting in July of 1985 as a whole plant mutation of R. typhina ‘Laciniata’. It is considered to be a superior landscape plant to ‘Laciniata’ as well as to the species (Rhus typhina) because of its dwarf size, quality yellow foliage and minimal suckering. Deeply dissected, pinnate compound leaves (to 1-2’ long) emerge chartreuse in spring, but quickly mature to bright yellow. Foliage may acquire some striking orange and scarlet tones in fall. Foliage contrasts well with the purplish branches and stems. U.S. Plant Patent PP16,185 was issued on January 3, 2006.
No serious insect or disease problems. Some susceptibility to leaf spots, rusts, powdery mildew, blister and cankers. Scale, aphids and caterpillars may appear. Watch for mites. Species plants may spread aggressively by root suckers.
TIGER EYES is less aggressive.
Excellent landscape specimen or accent. Also effective when massed. Shrub borders. Foundations.