OUR MISSION: As our climate changes, ACER supports communities with grassroots initiatives to plant trees, and educates on how to measure, monitor and report on tree health and growth

Shrubs: Fragrant Sumac

Latin Name: Rhus aromatica Ait.

General Description: A low shrub with spreading or ascending branches and aromatic foliage, usually less than 1.5 m high. Grows in dry sandy or rocky places.

Leaves: Alternate, deciduous and has three leaflets, 6-10 cm long, oval-shaped with a pointed or rounded tip and tapered at the base. Margins coarsely toothed above the middle with rounded and abruptly pointed teeth; smooth hair on both surfaces at first and then becomes hairless and smooth when full-grown.

Fragrant sumac_leaves








Twigs: Branchlets have tiny hairs which then become smooth brownish-gray to purplish-gray, prominent nodes and scattered lenticels.

Fruit: A densely hairy, reddish, berrylike drupe, 6-9 mm in diameter, grows in clusters, bears in late July and August.

Flowers: Small, yellowish, and in dense clustered spikes 0.5 – 2 cm long developing from small, slender, pointed, reddish-brown cones which are formed in late summer near the ends of the branches. Flowering occurs in late April and early May or with the leaves in May and early June.

Sources used: Shrubs of Ontario by James H. Soper and Margaret L. Heimburger (1994).