Staghorn Sumac – Rhus typhina
Also called Rhus hirta by some botanists.
NOTE: This play may spread by sprouting from its roots so give it enough room and keep and eye on it.
Features: Its common name comes from the short, downy hairs on the new branches, like the velvet on a male deer's antlers. Good for wildlife. Native bees and other insects get nectar and pollen from the flowers. The caterpillars of Hairstreak and Azure butterflies feed on the foliage. The fruit is a single small seed with a hard coating, borne in red clusters. Birds may eat the seeds and rabbits and deer may browse the foliage in winter.
Please note: This plant comes in male and female versions and it is too hard to tell them apart when young, so it's safer to plant several if you want fruit, which the females make.
Light: Full to partial sun
Soil: Dry to moist soil
Height: 15-20 feet
Fall color: red, yellow
Special note: pollinator hot spot, butterfly host and nectar plant, loved by birds
Photos: www.all-creatures.org (1), Illinois Wildflowers (2), Possibility Place (3)
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