Species: Rhus microphylla - Littleleaf Sumac

Common Names

Littleleaf Sumac

 

Observations

This plant is featured as location #2 in our Headquarters Self Guided Tour.  Be sure to report your observations of this plant on the guide form so we can gather data on this native species!

Description

Native sumacs make attractive specimen, hedge or background plants and are important wildlife plants. They are fast growing, generally pest and disease-free, and drought-tolerant. Colonies are often single-sexed, formed from a single, suckering parent. Only female plants produce flowers and berries.  Winter food for many upland gamebirds, songbirds, and large and small mammals.  They are of special use to native bees providing materials and structure.

Phenology

Duration: Perennial

Leaf: Dull green above, pale below.

Flower: Flowers in 4 inch clusters white and green in color blooming March - May.

  • First bloom 2013 - April 23

Fruit: Orange-red. 1/4 inch.

Habitat

Dry, scrubby uplands; open, alkali flats; thickets; desert plains & mesas,

Propagation

Scarified and stratified seed planted 1/3-3/4 in. deep and rooted semi-hardwood cuttings are used for increase.  Plants are commercially available.

Ecosystem Roles

Provides good cover and food for wildlife.  The leaves are browsed by deer and small mammals.  The fruit is consumed by quail, turkey and other birds and mammals.

Range

USA: AZ , NM , OK , TX

Online

NRCS Plant Profile

Publications

Common Rangeland Plants of the Texas Panhandle

 

Adopt a Species Project:

  • Researcher: Dusty Reins
  • Observer: Dusty Reins
  • Photographer: Dusty Reins
  • Publisher: Dusty Reins
  • Editor:

 

More Photos

Littleleaf Sumac - Bloom

Littleleaf Sumac in Bloom
The first sign of life on the Littleleaf Sumac in the spring are these tiny white flowers which appear in clusters along the outer branches. Each bloom is no more than 1.5mm across. (Photo: Dusty Reins)

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Littleleaf Sumac - Full

Rhus Microphylla
This hearty shrub never receives additional water other than what occurs naturally. It requires neither fertilizer or pesticides to stay healthy. As of spring 2013 it measures just over 7 feet in height and is 10 feet in across at the widest point.

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