Rhus trilobata Nutt.
Skunkbush sumac, Scented sumac, Ill-scented sumac, Squawbush, Basketbush, Skunkbush
Anacardiaceae (Sumac Family)
This is a widespread, variable species, consisting of several varieties throughout its range. It is a low, spreading, much-branched deciduous shrub, usually no more than 3 ft. high but spreading as much as 8 ft. The small, trifoliate leaves and the branches are fuzzy. Flowers are yellowish in clustered spikes and are followed by bright crimson to reddish, sticky berries. Fall foliage is colorful.
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Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Leaf Retention: Deciduous Leaf Arrangement: Alternate Leaf Complexity: Trifoliate Leaf Margin: Serrate
, Lobed Size Notes: Shrub
from 2-8 feet. Leaf:
Green Autumn Foliage:
Orange-red. 1/4 inch. Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr
AZ , AR , CA , CO , ID , KS , MD , MT , NE , NV , NM , ND , OK , OR , SD , TX , UT , WY Canada: AB Native Distribution:
Sask. to WA, s. to Mex. Native Habitat:
Dry to mesic slopes, thickets, canyons & stream banks USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Sandy, gravelly or other well-drained soils.
Conditions Comments: Squawbush is drought tolerant and useful in erosion control because of its suckering habit. Colonies are often single-sexed, formed from a single, suckering parent. Only female plants produce flowers and berries.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Food and habitat for many upland gamebirds, songbirds, and large and small mammals.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Foliage: yes
Last Update: 2009-09-10