Searching for Colour in Winter – Staghorn Sumac

I was pleasantly surprised recently to discover that Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina) is native to my part of the world.  There’s so much of it around here I just assumed it, like all the despicable buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica), was introduced.   The University of Guelph can provide a lot of information about this small tree, and it has a lot of positive traits, including providing food for birds.  My favourite thing about Sumac is the leaf colour in autumn and how the flowers turn and stay such a brilliant scarlet all winter.  It realy is nature’s perfect antidote to an otherwise grey and white season.

Sumac Jan 14 2018


  1. Sumac was one of the few colorful plants I remember from Oklahoma. Most of the colorful foliage was gone by the time we got there, and the remaining blackjack oak foliage was just brown.


      1. There are several oaks in my region, each with different personalities. The coast live oak is the most variable. It grows up high and irregular with friends in a forest as easily as it grows low, broad and massive as an individual tree out in a field. I remember blackjack oak because it was the same and only oak for miles at a time. Unlike our oaks that have small range distribution, blackjack oak inhabits a huge range


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