Field of Science

More fabulous foliage - sumac

The tree color is just about done, and if we get the predicted snow, the fall color will really be finished.  At this point some shrubs remain colorful, hamamelids: witch hazels, fothergillas, parrotias. Another colorful group are sumacs, largely unruly shrubs, not suitable for most lawns or gardens.   This is a cultivar of Rhus typhina, a staghorn sumac.  It turns a wonderful orange color, but that doesn't compensate for its really problem, which is sending up new shoots along roots.  If left alone it will form large clones, some of which can be seen along interstate highways in our area.  Ours is fighting with bottle brush buckeyes for space and the greater shade tolerance of the latter seems to be the deciding factor.  But hey it is colorful.  

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