Rhus glabra L.

  • Family: Anacardiaceae
  • Common name: smooth sumac
  • Synonyms: Rhus borealis, R. calophylla, R. glabra var. laciniata, R. glabra var. occidentalis

    Shrub or rarely small tree with open flattened crown. Twigs thick, gray or brown with whitish bloom. Leaves pinnately compound, 30-50 cm (12-20 in) long, glabrous, usually with reddish rachis. Leaflets 11-31, lanceolate, 5-10 cm (2-4 in) long, toothed, usually turning red in early fall. Flowers numerous in a large terminal panicle, very small, whitish, blooming in early Summer. Fruits small, dark red, covered with sticky hairs.

    Distribution: The species is native to most of the 48 conterminous states, northern Mexico, and southern Canada.
    Habitat: most abundant in forest-prairie margins and old fields.
    Comment: Smooth sumac often forms dense clonal thickets by vegetative reproduction. Rhus is the ancient Latin name; glabra refers to the shiny hairless leaves.
    NWI status: none

    Distribution in Oklahoma:

    Last update: 9/17/99
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