Rhus typhina - Staghorn Sumac

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Butterfly FriendlyPart Shade
Staghorn Sumac
Rhus typhina

This large sumac has spring flowers that attract butterflies and honey bees. The summer foliage is a handsome, shiny dark green that turns yellow, orange and red in the autumn. Female plants produce reddish fruits, an important winter food source for mockingbirds, catbirds, thrushes, blue birds and about 30 other species of game- and songbirds. These are sizable plants that will spread so; they are best used in informal, naturalized areas and for erosion control.

  • Native to all of the lower 48 states
  • Attracts butterflies, host plant for hair streak butterfly
  • Prized for its orange and red fall color
  • The seeds is an important food source for birds
  • A superb choice for stabilizing embankments
  • Tolerant of dry, shallow, rocky soil

Native Range

Found in dry uplands, old fields and hardwood forest edges.



In winter the hairy twigs resemble deer antlers in velvet, hence the common name. The tannin-rich fruit, bark and leaves were used to tan hides. The leaves and fruits were boiled to make black ink. 




Grow in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Tolerant of wide range of soils except those that are poorly drained.


Mature Size: 15-25ft. Tall x 20-30ft. Wide

Hardiness Zone: 3-8

Sun Exposure: Part Shade

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