Fragrant sumac is a low growing shrub forming a thick, dense mass of stems. Used en masse as a ground cover, it is an excellent shrub for stabilizing banks and slopes. The glossy, blue-green leaves emit a lemon scent when crushed and turn a mixture of red, burgundy, and purple in the fall.
This species is native to the Chicago Region according to Swink and Wilhelm’s Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research.
- Family (English) Cashew, Sumac
- Family (botanic) Anacardiaceae
- Tree or plant type Ground cover, Shrub
- Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Native locale Chicago area, Illinois, North America
- Size range Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet), Small shrub (3-5 feet)
- Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Hardiness zones Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9
- Soil preference Acid soil, Alkaline soil, Dry soil, Moist, Sandy soil, well-drained soil
- Tolerances Alkaline soil, Dry sites, Occasional drought, Road salt
- Season of interest early spring, early summer, midsummer, early fall, mid fall
- Flower color and fragrance Inconspicuous, Yellow
- Shape or form Creeping, Mounded, Multi-stemmed, Thicket-forming
- Growth rate Moderate, Slow