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Flaigg, Norman G.
Rhus microphylla Engelm. ex Gray
Littleleaf sumac, Desert sumac, Correosa, Agritos
USDA Symbol: RHMI3
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
Little-leaf sumac is a much-branched, deciduous shrub, 4-16 ft. tall, with small, pinnate leaves composed of tiny, leather, shiny leaflets. Axillary and terminal clusters of white flowers, which appear before the leaves, are followed by 2-4 in. clusters of orange-red berries. Flowers and fruits are usually not very numerous. Fall color is muted rose and purple.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Leaf Retention: Deciduous Leaf Arrangement: Alternate Leaf Complexity: Pinnate Leaf Shape: Elliptic Breeding System:
, Dioecious Size Notes:
6-12 feet. Leaf:
Dull green above, pale below. Flower:
Flowers in 4 inch clusters
Orange-red. 1/4 inch. Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Green
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
AZ , NM , OK , TX Native Distribution:
W. TX to AZ & adjacent Mex. Native Habitat:
Dry, scrubby uplands; open, alkali flats; thickets; desert plains & mesas USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Low Light Requirement:
Part Shade Soil Moisture:
Dry CaCO3 Tolerance:
High Cold Tolerant:
Sandy or rocky soils. Limestone-based, Caliche type Sandy Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam
Clay Conditions Comments: Native
sumacs make attractive specimen, hedge or background plants and are important wildlife plants. They are fast growing, generally pest and disease-free, and drought-tolerant. Colonies are often single-sexed, formed from a single, suckering parent. Only female plants produce flowers and berries.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Grows in clumps, Fruits ornamental, Fall conspicuous
Use Wildlife: Winter food for many upland gamebirds, songbirds, and large and small mammals. Fruit-birds, Fruit-mammals, Browse
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
PropagationDescription: Scarified and stratified seed planted 1/3-3/4 in. deep and rooted semi-hardwood cuttings are used for increase.
Seed Treatment: Acid scarification for one hour followed by stratification at 41 degrees for 30-60 days.
Commercially Avail: yes
From the National Suppliers Directory
According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:
Hill Country Natives
- Leander, TX
Herbarium Specimen(s)NPSOT 0905
Collected Jun 25, 1994 in Bexar County by Harry Cliffe
Recommended Species Lists
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Record Modified: 2009-02-20
Research By: TWC Staff