Why plant Audubon®Native Fragrant Sumac?
If you have a dry, sunny, barren space to fill in or a slope that’s hard to mow, you can take care of it beautifully, while benefiting wildlife as well. Fragrant Sumac is a native spreading Accent that fills up challenging sites with fresh greenery. In fall, that rich green foliage becomes a kaleidoscope of gold, orange, red, and purple. In very sunny sites, it turns into a flaming mass of scarlet. Pollinators delight in the pale yellow flowers of Fragrant Sumac in spring, while hungry songbirds will take advantage of the red fruits on female plants in winter. A treat for you and the creatures you share your space with!
A wide-ranging native, Fragrant Sumac is found in some form in every state in the lower 48. Our version grows east of the Rocky Mountains; another, similar version grows in the West. People who encounter Fragrant Sumac in the wild may be nervous, because its three-parted leaves look a lot like Poison Ivy. Although they’re related, there’s nothing to worry about with Fragrant Sumac! It won’t give you a rash. One notable difference between the two plants is the fruit: Poison Ivy’s is white and Fragrant Sumac’s is red. The red drupes make a refreshing lemonade-like drink when steeped in water.
How to use Audubon®Native Fragrant Sumac in the landscape?
Several interesting moth species feed on Fragrant Sumac. One is the showy emerald moth. As an adult, it is a gorgeous lime-green moth, but as a caterpillar it looks like a dead leaf that’s been torn up. Fragrant Sumac also hosts the pretty yellow slant-line moth and the large and striking regal moth.
Hardiness Zone: 3-9
How To Plant Audubon®Native Fragrant Sumac
Fragrant Sumac is an easygoing native plant that both novice and experienced gardeners will love. Plant it in full sun for the most intense orange-red fall color. In partly shaded sites, the color will be more subdued, but still nice. It’s not fussy about soils, but it will be happiest in those that are relatively light (sandy). Good drainage is a must. Water your Fragrant Sumac regularly during the first year or two of establishment. After that, it will be quite drought tolerant. Prune if desired to encourage denser branching, or simply let it do its thing.
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.