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Winged sumac
Rhus copallinum
Anacardiaceae


General Landscape Uses:

Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations.
Availability:
Native plant nurseries in central and northern Florida.
Description:
Large shrub or rarely a small tree with an erect trunk and an open, irregular crown. Trunks to 10 inches in diameter, but usually much less. Bark light brown or gray tinged with red. Leaves temperate semi-deciduous, compound, 6-8 inches long, shiny green, turning reddish with yellow before falling.
Dimensions:
Typically 5-15 feet in height in South Florida; to 44 feet in Florida. Usually about as broad as tall, but sometimes much taller.
Growth Rate:
Fast.
Range:
Eastern and central North America south to the Monroe County Keys; Cuba. In the Monroe County Keys, disjunct from Miami-Dade County to the pine rocklands of Big Pine Key, where very rare or extirpated. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida website.
Habitats:
Pinelands.
Soils:
Moist, well-drained sandy or limestone soils, without humusy top layer.
Nutritional Requirements:
Low; it grows in nutrient poor soils.
Salt Water Tolerance:
Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
Low; salt wind may burn the leaves.
Drought Tolerance:
High; does not require any supplemental water once established.
Light Requirements:
Full sun.
Flower Color:
Greenish-yellow.
Flower Characteristics:
Inconspicuous. Dioecious, with male and female flowers on different plants.
Flowering Season:
Spring-summer.
Fruit:
Dull reddish flattened drupe. Mostly fall.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Larval host and nectar plant for red-banded hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops) butterflies.
Horticultural Notes:
Can be grown from seed and cuttings (including root cuttings).
Comments:
Good for fall color. Can be very aggressive in the garden, spreading from root suckers many yards away from the parent tree.


 


Roger L. Hammer
Shirley Denton
Keith A. Bradley
Keith A. Bradley