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Littleleaf Sumac Rhus microphylla

 

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Littleleaf Sumac
© Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

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Alternate name: Desert Sumac, Correosa

Family: Anacardiaceae, Cashew view all from this family



Description Littleleaf Sumac is a much-branched, deciduous shrub, 4-16 ft. tall, with small, pinnate leaves composed of tiny, leathery, shiny leaflets. Axillary and terminal clusters of white flowers, which appear before the leaves, are followed by 2-4 in. clusters of orange-red berries. Flowers and fruits are usually not very numerous. Fall color is muted rose and purple.


Habitat Dry, scrubby uplands; open, alkali flats; thickets; desert plains and mesas.


Range W. Texas to Arizona and adjacent Mexico.


Discussion Native sumacs make attractive specimen, hedge or background plants and are important wildlife plants. They are fast growing, generally pest- and disease-free, and drought-tolerant. Colonies are often single-sexed, formed from a single, suckering parent. Only female plants produce flowers and berries.


Comments Native sumacs make attractive specimen, hedge or background plants and are important wildlife plants. They are fast growing, generally pest- and disease-free, and drought-tolerant. Colonies are often single-sexed, formed from a single, suckering parent. Only female plants produce flowers and berries.


Exposure Preference Sun.


Flower March - May


Native Distribution W. Texas to Arizona & adjacent Mexico


Site Preference Dry, scrubby uplands; open, alkali flats; thickets; desert plains & mesas


Soil Preference Sandy or rocky soils.


Wildlife Value Winter food for many upland gamebirds, songbirds, and large and small mammals.


 

 

 

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