Staghorn Sumac; Rhus typhina is an under-valued species
There tends to be so much sumac in our landscape that familiarity leads to oversight. Yet, look around – roadsides, old fields and disturbed places are home to thickets of this small tree bearing its stout terminal twigs plush with velvet. In the fall, the leaves turn bright scarlet and all winter long, the fruits make a ruddy splash of colour. It seems that the name “sumac” derives from Arabic and that the Arabic word refers to the colour, even if of a different species. Often overlooked because it is so common and because it is plant of weedy sites, staghorn sumac has lots to commend itself.