Fragrant Sumac

Rhus aromatica

Family: Anacardiaceae (an-a-kard-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Rhus (roos) (Info)
Species: aromatica (ar-oh-MAT-ih-kuh) (Info)
Synonym:Rhus aromatica var. aromatica
Synonym:Rhus aromatica var. illinoensis
Synonym:Schmaltzia crenata



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


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:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade



Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow

Bright Yellow

Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring




Good Fall Color

Other details:

This plant may be considered a protected species; check before digging or gathering seeds

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Scarify seed before sowing

By serpentine layering

Seed Collecting:

Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible


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

Morrilton, Arkansas

Glen Ellyn, Illinois

Saint Charles, Illinois

Wadsworth, Illinois

Corinna, Maine

Aurora, Missouri

Cole Camp, Missouri

Piedmont, Missouri

Youngstown, Ohio

Hulbert, Oklahoma

Newtown Square, Pennsylvania

Arlington, Texas

Austin, Texas

Crawford, Texas

Harker Heights, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Salt Lake City, Utah

Exmore, Virginia

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Gardeners' Notes:


On May 22, 2012, kwanjin from (Zone 7a) wrote:

I love this plant. I've had it 7 years and it's beautiful. No suckering as with some other Rhus' and the Fall color is a wonderful red.


On May 31, 2007, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Fragrant Sumac, Rhus aromatica is native to Texas and other States.


On Mar 28, 2005, Toxicodendron from Piedmont, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

This native shrub is a valuable wildlife plant. It's fruit is eaten by birds, raccoons, opossums, chipmunks, and deer.
It is sometimes mistaken for poison ivy, since both plants have 3 leaflets, but close examination reveals that the leaflets do not have stalks, whereas poison ivy leaflets do (the center leaflet). There are other differences in flowers, fruit, etc. Fragrant sumac does not cause skin irritation.
I have pulled this plant out in great quantity because it propagates by runners and my property is overly supplied with it. I leave it in the woodsy areas, but have eliminated it in the flower and vegetable patches. It favors a location at the edge of woods.
There is considerable variability in the characteristics of fragrant sumac over it's broad range ... read more