Staghorn Sumac

Rhus typhina

Staghorn Sumac: Full Tree - Click for larger image

Leaves
Twigs & Fruiting Structures
Bark
Distribution and Uses

Leaves

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Staghorn Sumac: Leaf - Click for larger image
Staghorn Sumac: Twig - Click for larger image

Twigs & Fruiting Structures

  • Very hairy, reddish twigs and leafstalks; sturdy twigs look like deer antlers (hence name); surrounded by velvet-like covering made of thick, brown hairs

  • When twigs cut in summer, produce milky sap that turns black after exposure

  • Hairy buds without scales enclosed by deep U-shaped leaf scars

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Staghorn Sumac: Fruit - Click for larger image
  • Dark red, rounded, 1-seeded fruit with dark red hairs

  • Grouped in upright clusters

  • Fruit attached in winter

  • Fruit provides food for much wildlife including songbirds, grouse, skunks, and pheasants

  • Indians used crushed fruit to make lemonade-type drink

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Bark

  • Bark dark brown, thin, smooth; wood is yellow

Distribution & Uses

  • Prefers open areas such as old fields, forest edges, and roadsides

  • Cultivated in Europe and the West; distribution includes Tennessee through Minnesota east through Maine, Ontario, and Nova Scotia

  • Planted for ornamentation; bark and leaves used for tannin

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Staghorn Sumac: Bark - Click for larger image