Sugar Bush, Chapparal Sumac

Rhus ovata

Family: Anacardiaceae (an-a-kard-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Rhus (roos) (Info)
Species: ovata (oh-VAY-tuh) (Info)



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)


USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Mid Spring


Grown for foliage



This plant is fire-retardant

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Agoura Hills, California

Descanso, California

Manhattan Beach, California

Ramona, California

Winchester, California

Las Vegas, Nevada

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 15, 2011, Cindy312 from Descanso, CA wrote:

I haven't grown it - am trying to locate a source. It grows on my property, and I'd love to have more of it. I have several trees - 8-12 feet high, and they are pretty, evergreen glossy green leaves, attractive blossoms, and fruit the birds like. It's also said to be fire retardant. Haven't had a problem with runners - perhaps because we are extremely dry here. These trees are never watered artificially - ever. May try propagating from cuttings if I can't find them for sale.


On Dec 14, 2007, florablue from Key West, FL wrote:

This plant is a garden thug. If it is put into a garden setting, it should be containerized. It propagates by sending out runners which choke out neighboring plants. Once established it is difficult to remove if the gardner should change their mind.


On Mar 9, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

One of the better looking native shrubs in Southern California (U.S.) this plant has an amazing ability to withstand drought and fire. It is one of the toughest, yet nicest looking shrubs around. Has red berries that reportedly make a nice lemonaid like drink (haven't tried it myself, though). You'll see this plant growing all over the San Gabriel and Santa Monica mountains around Los Angeles.