Evergreen Sumac, Tobacco Sumac, Lentisco

Rhus virens

Family: Anacardiaceae (an-a-kard-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Rhus (roos) (Info)
Species: virens (VEER-enz) (Info)



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

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

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


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

Sun to Partial Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds


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

Austin, Texas (3 reports)

Belton, Texas

Crawford, Texas (2 reports)

Helotes, Texas

Hondo, Texas

Kerrville, Texas

Pipe Creek, Texas

San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)

Tarpley, Texas

Waxahachie, Texas

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 11, 2010, njf from Red Oak, TX wrote:

After reading good reviews of this Evergreen Sumac, we'd like to try it, but can't find anyone in the Dallas/Waxahachie area that carries it. Does anyone know where we might find it?


On Aug 16, 2009, broncbuster from Waxahachie, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

A great shrub for year-round interests and LOW maintenance! It can also be propagated via cuttings. Thanks to Mitch for the beautiful plant!


On Jan 22, 2008, MitchF from Lindsay, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Wonderful plant, green and then purple in winter, flowers are nice and the red berries too that hold the seeds. I love this plant and would not live without one in my yard if I could!


On Jul 20, 2005, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Usually found on rocky slopes of Southeast Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Mexico, this attractive native tree or large shrub is evergreen except in the coldest winters (below 5 degrees). It can attain a height of up to 12 feet tall (3.6 m) and a width of 15 feet. Sometimes it can be found in a tree form (up to 15'). It has a moderate growth rate. The leathery, shiny dark green leaves are paler colored on their undersides.

Young twigs are red and green with a gray fine fuzz and later turn gray and smooth. The buds are small,hairy and nearly hidden by petiole. The bark is light gray and smooth; when the specimen ages, it becomes scaly with a reddish brown coloration under the scaly patches. The whitish-cream to pale yellowish-white, small blooms are in loose 2 to 4 inch long t... read more