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Prairie Flameleaf Sumac

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Rhus lanceolata

Prairie Flameleaf Sumac is a thicket-forming, small, deciduous tree to 30 ft. in height, but usually no taller than 20 ft. Pyramidal panicles of red fall fruit follow white summer blossoms. Pinnately compound foliage becomes vivid red or orange in fall.

Native from southern Oklahoma through the north, central, and west Texas to New Mexico and south to Puebla in central Mexico, the limestone-loving Prairie Flameleaf Sumac is relatively fast-growing, generally pest disease-free, and heat-, cold-, and drought-tolerant. Flameleaf is a perfect description of this tree's amazing orange and red autumn foliage. Still, its pale trunk and branches, green summer leaves, and pyramidal clusters of red fall fruit are also noteworthy.

Though it may sucker from the base to form a colony, it is not as likely to aggressively colonize as the more easterly Shining Sumac (Rhus corallum). Like the very different-looking Evergreen Sumac (Rhus virens), Prairie Flameleaf Sumac produces berries that, when soaked in water, make a tart, tasty, high-Vitamin C tea.

Height: 12’-20'
Spread: 15’-20'
Bloom: Summer
Light: Full Sun, Part Sun, Dappled Shade
Water: Low
Zone: 6, 7, 8
Origin: Texas

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