Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Fragrant Sumac
Rhus aromatica 'Grow-Low'

Family: Anacardiaceae (an-a-kard-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Rhus (roos) (Info)
Species: aromatica (ar-oh-MAT-ih-kuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Grow-Low
Additional cultivar information: (aka Gro-Lo)

Synonym:Rhus aromatica var. aromatica
Synonym:Rhus aromatica var. illinoensis
Synonym:Schmaltzia crenata

6 vendors have this plant for sale.

6 members have or want this plant for trade.


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
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)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring

Grown for foliage
Good Fall Color

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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3 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Rickwebb On Nov 9, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

A good quality groundcover with shiny dark foliage and good yellow to orange to red fall color. Occasionally planted in homeowner yards, but much more used by landscape designers and architects.

Neutral coriaceous On May 5, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Easy and adaptable, this shrub forms a groundcover that spreads by runners that root. It is useful for mass planting to stabilize embankments in full sun where soil is poor and pH is neutral.

As a specimen shrub, it is mediocre at best. The flowers are inconspicuous, and I've never seen fruit. Leaves resemble poison ivy and in full sun can give good fall color. Definitely a background plant.

Positive AmyInNH On May 4, 2014, AmyInNH from Brookline, NH wrote:

Junky sandy soil, full sun, watered only if it hasn't rained for weeks in the worst of the July heat. Yet, it's fine. Magnificent brilliant orangy-red in the fall. Hope to get more to put near the birches, should look awesome with the white bark and yellow leaves!

Neutral grrrlgeek On Jun 1, 2009, grrrlgeek from Grayslake, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

We have 3 in front of the house that were there when we moved in. They are not terribly impressive. Ours never really show any fall color. It may be they just don't hold their leaves long enough, since they seem to be bare pretty quickly in the fall. Possibly the combination of weather (zone 5) and packed clay full of rocks.

Positive missgarney On Jul 14, 2006, missgarney from Cullowhee, NC (Zone 6b) wrote:

I planted a 1 gallon nursery specimen on a slope which was formerly a rustic gravel drive, compact clay with rocks mixed in. Some top soil and composted manure had been dumped there and lightly dug in. It is a steep slope which faces northeast, but it gets about 6 hours of sun in the middle of summer. Without any care whatsoever, the plant has doubled in size in 3 months and looks beautiful.


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

Pittsburg, California
Bonners Ferry, Idaho
Glen Ellyn, Illinois
Grayslake, Illinois
Peoria, Illinois
Indianapolis, Indiana
Roslindale, Massachusetts
Traverse City, Michigan
Grandview, Missouri
Sparks, Nevada
Brookline, New Hampshire
Wykagyl, New York
Cullowhee, North Carolina
Newtown Square, Pennsylvania
Broad Run, Virginia
Deerfield, Wisconsin

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