Why plant Audubon® Native Flameleaf Sumac?
Celebrate fall with Winged Sumac! When nights get frosty, this gorgeous native turns smoking-hot shades of orange and red. When the sun shines through the leaves, they glow like hot coals. Your local wildlife will enjoy Winged Sumac for different reasons. Native bees and beneficial flies, wasps, and beetles will visit the summer flowers. Caterpillars, such as the regal moth, the showy emerald moth, and the red-banded hairstreak butterfly feed on the foliage. In winter, birds come to graze on the reddish-brown fruits produced on female plants. A beautiful, benevolent plant for native gardens, semi-wild spaces, and backyard wildlife habitat.
Winged Sumac, a.k.a. Shining Sumac, a.k.a. Flameleaf Sumac, is an inhabitant of dryish soils across the eastern U.S. It develops into a large shrub or small tree and spreads at a moderate pace via suckers. Like some other species of American Sumac, Winged Sumac was once used in the tanning industry because of the tannins in its bark. The dark, fuzzy fruits were also popular among rural folks. They can be steeped in water to produce a tart but refreshing beverage like lemonade. This species is not to be confused with Poison Sumac, which will give you a nasty rash! That one only lives in swampy areas.
How to use Audubon® Native Flameleaf Sumac in the landscape?
Yet another function of Winged Sumac is as bee habitat. Some solitary bees will burrow into Sumac stems and lay their eggs in the pithy centers. Their offspring will overwinter inside and then emerge in the spring, ready to pollinate your plants. You can help these gentle creatures by pruning some of your Sumac stems to allow the insects easy access through the cut ends.
Hardiness Zone: 4-8
How To Plant Audubon® Native Flameleaf Sumac
Give Winged Sumac a spacious, sunny site where its spreading ways will not be a nuisance. Alternately, you can plant it where it will be hemmed in by concrete barriers (this rugged plant also adapts readily to city life). Never put it near more delicate plants. Winged Sumac is not fussy about soil, but the soil must be free-draining. After the plant is established, you’ll seldom need to water. Blasting heat and bitter cold are no problem. Winged Sumac is late to leaf out in spring, so don’t fret if you don’t see action when your other plants are emerging.
How To Fertilize
Incorporate Elements Starter Plant food granular form into the soil when planting. If planting in spring or summer, start fertilizing late fall using Elements Starter Plant food granular form on an annual basis each late fall. Continue this for the first three years to get your plant well established.
This tree arrived in great shape and is doing well. This is my second plant from B & B and I've been very happy with them both. It is a high quality plant and I'm confident it will continue to thrive!
Hi Laurie -
Thank you so much for your kind words and review - we truly appreciate them as well as you! If you ever have any questions about your plants, please don't hesitate to reach out! We have a team of Plant Nerds on hand to help whenever needed :) We hope you enjoy your plants for years to come!
- Bower & Branch Plant Whisperers