Common Name: staghorn sumac
Type: Deciduous shrub
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 10.00 to 25.00 feet
Spread: 15.00 to 25.00 feet
Bloom Time: July
Bloom Description: Greenish-yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Leaf: Good Fall
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Rabbit, Drought, Erosion, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil, Black Walnut
Grow in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Tolerant of wide range of soils except those that are poorly drained.
This staghorn sumac cultivar is a large, open, spreading shrub or small tree which typically grows 9-15' tall (less frequently to 25') and spreads aggressively by root suckers to 15-20' wide or more. Common name comes from the dense, reddish brown hairs which cover the stems of this plant in somewhat the same way as velvet covers the antlers of a stag (male deer). Large, deeply dissected, compound pinnate, bright green leaves (13-27 leaflets) grow to 2' long with a fern-like appearance and turn attractive shades of orange, yellow and red in autumn. Greenish-yellow flowers bloom in terminal panicles in early summer, with separate male and female flowers appearing on separate plants (dioecious). Female plants produce showy, pyramidal fruiting clusters (to 8" long). Each cluster contains numerous hairy, berry-like drupes which ripen in autumn to red, gradually aging to maroon-brown. Fruit clusters persist through the winter, providing some interest. Fruit is attractive to wildlife.
No serious insect or disease problems. Some susceptibility to leaf spot, rust, verticillium wilt, scale, aphids and mites. Tends to be quite an aggressive spreader.
Best when massed for stabilizing embankments or for hard-to-cover areas with poorer soils or for naturalizing in wild areas. Has some nice ornamental features (ferny foliage, hairy stems, fruiting clusters and fall foliage), but is probably too weedy and aggressive for shrub borders.