Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Rhus trilobata


Skunkbush sumac, Scented sumac, Ill-scented sumac, Squawbush, Basketbush, Skunkbush, Fragrant sumac, Aromatic sumac


Anacardiaceae (Sumac Family)



Rhus trilobata (Skunkbush sumac)
Nugent, Louis R
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.


Image Gallery:

1 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: 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: yes
Fruit: Orange-red. 1/4 inch.
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr

Distribution

USA: 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

Growing Conditions

Water 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.

Benefit

Use Wildlife: Food and habitat for many upland gamebirds, songbirds, and large and small mammals.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Foliage: yes

Last Update: 2013-09-27