Saturday, October 3, 2009

Winged Sumac

Here's a little look at Winged Sumac, aka Shining Sumac, Rhus copallina. It's a small and native sumac, often less than ten feet tall. I found a length of these nestled under taller trees and growing along the forest's edge. The wings are what first caught my attention--I don't think I've seen another species with similar branches.

The velvelty branches with raised dots provide more identifiers.

From Wikipedia:

"Shining sumac is often cultivated, where it is well-suited to natural and informal landscapes because it has underground runners which spread to provide dense, shrubby cover for birds and wildlife. This species is valued for ornamental planting because of its lustrous dark green foliage which turns a brilliant orange-red in fall. The fall color display is frequently enjoyed along interstate highways, as the plant readily colonizes these and other disturbed sites. The tiny, greenish-yellow flowers, borne in compact, terminal panicles, are followed by showy red clusters of berries which persist into the winter and attract wildlife."

"Rhus copallina." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 11 Apr 2009, 20:06 UTC. 2 Oct 2009 <>.

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