Smooth sumac is a native plant found throughout the eastern United States. A good choice for difficult sites, mass plantings, screening, and highway plantings. The dark green summer foliage turns an excellent yellow to an orange-red-purple combination in fall. Female plants produce scarlet, hairy terminal fruits in summer and persist into winter.
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 Tree, Shrub
- Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Native locale Chicago area, Illinois, North America
- Size range Large shrub (more than 8 feet), Compact tree (10-15 feet), Small tree (15-25 feet)
- Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct 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 Dry soil, Moist, Sandy soil, well-drained soil
- Tolerances Clay soil, Dry sites, Occasional drought, Road salt
- Season of interest early winter, midwinter, early summer, mid fall, late fall
- Flower color and fragrance Yellow
- Shape or form Irregular, Multi-stemmed, Thicket-forming, Upright
- Growth rate Fast