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Evergreen Sumac

Rhus virens

Details & Attributes

Plant Type(s) Shrub
Native to Arizona Yes!
Water Needs Low
Sun Full sun, partial shade
Pollinators Bees, butterflies, attracts birds to the fruit
Has Spines No
In relative feet, width by height
8-12 × 8-12
Freeze Tolerant Yes
Flowering Season August-September
Flower Color White
Minimum Temperature Range -10 °F
Leaf Description Compound leaves, dark green and waxy, with 5-9 pinnae (leaflets)
Fruit Tart, red, berry
View on SEINet View SEINet Entry
Range Map View SEINet Range Map
Elevation Range 3500-6000 ft.
Description Many folks will be familiar with the African Sumac, a related, relatively invasive species frequently found in urban areas around southern Arizona. It may be reassuring to know that we have several native species. The Evergreen sumac is also good alternative to the Chinese pistache due to its similarity in leaf shape etc. This plant is typically a shrub but in cultivation can become a small tree. The waxy leaves and velvety stems give a lush appearance year round and spikes of white and pink flowers are followed by tart red berries which are edible for human, and also a big draw for birds. Plants are known hosts for the spring Azure butterfly and may support other butterflies and moths. This plant makes a decent hedge, or can be mixed in with plants like mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus breviflorus), oak species (Quercus spp.), and Arizona rosewood (Vauquelinia californica) to create a woodland effect.