Fragrant Sumac 'Grow-Low'

Rhus aromatica

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



Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone



Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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

South Jordan, Utah

Broad Run, Virginia

Deerfield, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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.


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. Does not tolerate shade.

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 late fall color. Definitely a background plant.

The literature suggests that it prefers acid soils, but can tolerate alkaline soils up to pH 8.3.


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!


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.


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.