Staghorn sumac – Rhus typhina

Staghorn sumac – Rhus typhina

Family – Anicardiaceae (Cashew family)

Height – 10-20 feet

Flower – small (1/4”) green flowers in clusters, 4-8” long

Staghorn Sumac - Rhus typhina

Staghorn Sumac

Fruit – fuzzy red seeds in a 4-8” cone-like cluster

Leaf – compound alternate, 12-24” in length, 11-31 sessile leaflets per stalk, each leaflet

Bark – smooth, brown; the twigs and leaf stalks feel velvety, similar to a buck in velvet
(hence the name staghorn sumac!)

Habitat – dry soils, full sun; common along roads, fields, and hillsides

Edible? –  Yes, the fuzzy fruits are edible.  They can be soaked in water to make “sumac lemonade.” The fruits are high in vitamin C.

Notes: Staghorn sumacs reproduce by underground root suckers that send up shoots, thereby producing more sumacs.

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