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Audubon® Fragrant Sumac
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If you have a dry, sunny, barren space to fill in or a slope that’s hard to mow, you can take care of it beautifully, while benefiting wildlife as well. Fragrant Sumac is a native spreading Accent that fills up challenging sites with fresh greenery. In fall, that rich green foliage becomes a kaleidoscope of gold, orange, red, and purple. In very sunny sites, it turns into a flaming mass of scarlet. Pollinators delight in the pale yellow flowers of Fragrant Sumac in spring, while hungry songbirds will take advantage of the red fruits on female plants in winter. A treat for you and the creatures you share your space with!
May Benefit & Attract: cardinals & grosbeaks, wrens, sparrows, thrushes, orioles, finches, mockingbirds & thrashers, vireos, wood warblers
Take Birds Under Your Wing
New! Introducing our bird-friendly collection of Audubon® Native Plants & Trees
- Better for Birds, 100% Neonic-Free
- Not Available in non-native regions, states or counties (see Native Regions map)
Bower & Branch is proud to grow Audubon® Native Plants for Birds in partnership with the National Audubon Society to help birds and other wildlife thrive.
- The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow
- This bird-friendly native plant provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
- Your purchase and planting of this native flora directly supports Audubon’s conservation mission and impact
- Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program
- Audubon Native Plants & Trees are free of neonicotinoids and exclusively grown by Bower & Branch
Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.
- Hardiness Zone: 3-9
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A wide-ranging native, Fragrant Sumac is found in some form in every state in the lower 48. Our version grows east of the Rocky Mountains; another, similar version grows in the West. People who encounter Fragrant Sumac in the wild may be nervous, because its three-parted leaves look a lot like Poison Ivy. Although they’re related, there’s nothing to worry about with Fragrant Sumac! It won’t give you a rash. One notable difference between the two plants is the fruit: Poison Ivy’s is white and Fragrant Sumac’s is red. The red drupes make a refreshing lemonade-like drink when steeped in water.
Several interesting moth species feed on Fragrant Sumac. One is the showy emerald moth. As an adult, it is a gorgeous lime-green moth, but as a caterpillar it looks like a dead leaf that’s been torn up. Fragrant Sumac also hosts the pretty yellow slant-line moth and the large and striking regal moth.
How to Grow
Fragrant Sumac is an easygoing native plant that both novice and experienced gardeners will love. Plant it in full sun for the most intense orange-red fall color. In partly shaded sites, the color will be more subdued, but still nice. It’s not fussy about soils, but it will be happiest in those that are relatively light (sandy). Good drainage is a must. Water your Fragrant Sumac regularly during the first year or two of establishment. After that, it will be quite drought tolerant. Prune if desired to encourage denser branching, or simply let it do its thing.
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