Native Shrubs ... in wildlife landscaping
West Virginia Native Plant Society
West Virginia Nongame Wildlife Program
Staghorn (Velvet or Hairy) Sumac - Rhus typhina
Smooth Sumac - R. glabra
Shining (Winged) Sumac - R. copallina
Fragrant Sumac - R. aromatica
Poison Sumac - R. vernix
|Form:||Staghorn - Shrub or
small tree with a few large upright branches, usually 15
to 25 feet high.
Smooth - Shrub to 15 feet height, open, with few branches.
Shining - Shrub or small tree, usually 10 to 20 feet tall.
Fragrant - Fast growing rambling shrub to 6 feet tall, dense growth.
Poison - Shrub or small tree, open branching, usually 10 to 25 feet tall.
|Bark and Twigs:||Staghorn - Large twigs
covered with dense reddish-brown hairs, yellowish wood,
milky sap if twig broken.
Smooth - Large twigs are smooth and gray, frequently coated with a whitish substance, flat sided twigs, milky sap if twig broken.
Shining - Twigs medium-sized, velvety and covered with raised dots.
Fragrant - Twigs small, hairy, with yellow buds.
Poison -Bark gray with many small cross streaks circling the trunk, twigs smooth.
|Leaves:||All are alternate, compound with
terminal leaflet (Note: Fragrant has a 3-parted compound
Staghorn - on margins, whitish cast to leaflets, turns bright yellow-scarlet in fall.
Smooth - 8 to 16 inches long with 11 to 31 leaflets, stalk of leaf smooth, turns orange-scarlet in fall.
Shining - 8 to 12 inches long with 15 to 23 shiny leaflets, stalk of leaf with winged margins between the leaflets, turns crimson or purplish in fall.
Fragrant - 3 leaflets, hairy, fragrant smell when crushed, turns orange-red or red-purple in fall. Very similar in looks to Poison Ivy and Poison Oak.
Poison - 8 to 12 inches long with 7 to 13 leaflets, smooth leaflet margins.
|Fruit:||Staghorn - Long,
pointed clusters of small red seeds covered with dense,
long, red hairs.
Smooth - Long, pointed clusters of small red seeds covered with short red hairs.
Shining - Open, pointed clusters to 6 inches length, red seed covered by sparse short hairs.
Fragrant - Small clusters of up to 20 red hairy seeds.
Poison - Clusters of open gray to white seeds without hairs.
Compiled by: Emily K. Grafton, botanist, naturalist and environmental educator, Morgantown, West Virginia
Written by West Virginia Native Plant Society members and jointly published with the WV Nongame Program
Illustration from Flora of West Virginia, Strausbaugh and Core