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Flameleaf Sumac

Rhus copallinum var. lanceolata

Other common name(s):

Prairie Flameleaf Sumac, Prairie Sumac, Lance-leaf Sumac, Lance-leaved Sumac, Texas Sumac, Tree Sumac, Limestone Sumac, Prairie Shining Sumac

Family:

Anacardiaceae (Sumac Family)

Plant Ecoregion Distribution Map

Chihuahuan Deserts, Cross Timbers, East Central Texas Plains, Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes, Texas Blackland Prairies, Western Gulf Coastal Plain
Low Mountains and Bajadas
Eastern Cross Timbers, Grand Prairie, Limestone Cut Plain
Bastrop Lost Pines, Floodplains and Low Terraces2, San Antonio Prairie, Southern Post Oak Savanna
Northern Humid Gulf Coastal Prairies, Texas-Louisiana Coastal Marshes
Floodplains and Low Terraces1, Northern Blackland Prairie
Flatwoods, Floodplains and Low Terraces3, Pleistocene Fluvial Terraces, Southern Tertiary Uplands, Tertiary Uplands

Plant Characteristics

Growth Form

Tree

Height

12
to
20
ft.

Spread

10
to
15
ft.

Leaf Retention

Deciduous

Lifespan

Perennial

Habitat and Care Requirements

Soil Type(s)

Clay, Gravelly, Limestone, Calcareous, Well Drained

Light Requirement

Sun

Water Requirement

Very Low, Medium

Native Habitat

Woodland

Bloom and Attraction

Bloom Color

White, Yellow, Green

Bloom Season

Summer

Seasonal Interest

Fruit, Fall Color, Nectar, Larval Host

Wildlife Benefit

Butterflies, Birds, Small Mammals, Bees

Maintenance

This tree can be left to form natural thickets, or pruned to preserve individual trees and slow suckering. Will be less likely to sucker and colonize if left undisturbed. Propagation Clump division , Seeds, scarified, Semi-hardwood cuttings

Comments

Blooms July-August. Tall shrub, short tree. Fast growing. Heat, cold, and drought-tolerant. Creamy spring flowers followed by pyramidal clusters of red fall fruit. Vivid red fall color for weeks. Flowers and fruit are food for bees, mammals and 20 species of birds. Native to Limestone soils. Similar in appearance to Rhus copallinum var copallinum (Winged Sumac) but lacks the winged stems, Larval Host: Red-banded Hairstreak and Banded Hairstreak. Replaces Invasive: Chinese Pistache.
Previous Scientific Name(s): Synonym/s: Rhus lanceolata

References

1) Griffith, Bryce, Omernick & Rodgers (2007). Ecoregions of Texas. 2) Miller, George O., Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas 2nd Ed., 2013, pg 48. 3) https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=RHLA3. 4) https://portal.torcherbaria.org/portal/taxa/index.php?taxon=Rhus+copallinum+var.+lanceolata&formsubmit=Search+Terms. 5) http://bonap.net/TDC/Image/Map?taxonType=Species&taxonId=865&locationType=County&mapType=Normal.. 6) https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=539588#null., 7) Native and Adapted Landscape Plants, City of Austin and Texas A&M, 2014.