Rhus Integrifolia which is also known as Smooth Sumac belongs to the family Anacardiaceae.
Overview of Rhus Integrifolia
• Rhus integrifolia is a small tree or shrub.
• It is an evergreen shrub.
• Rhus integrifolia is also known as Lemonade Berry, Lemonadeberry, or Lemonade Sumac.
• It is native to the Transverse and Peninsular Ranges and the South Coast regions of Southern California. This extends from:
– Santa Barbara County
– The Channel Islands to San Diego County
– Extending into north-central Pacific coastal Baja California
– Its offshore islands such as Cedros Island
• It can grow up to a height of 1–8 meters (3.3–26 ft) in height.
• Rhus integrifolia leaves are simple, alternating and evergreen.
• They are leathery.
• They range from two to four centimeters wide on reddish twigs.
• Length of leaves is five to seven centimeters.
• Leaves are toothed with a waxy appearance.
• The flowers appear from February to May.
• These fragrant flowers exhibit radial symmetry.
• Many plants within this genus are considered toxic.
• These species can be used to make lemonade flavored drinks.
• Lemonade Berry leaves are rich in tannins.
• An oil can be extracted from Lemonade Berry seeds.
• The oil can be employed to manufacture candles.
Scientific classification of Rhus Integrifolia
• Kingdom: Plantae
• (unranked): Angiosperms
• (unranked): Eudicots
• (unranked): Rosids
• Order: Sapindales
• Family: Anacardiaceae
• Genus: Rhus
• Species: R. integrifolia
Growing and Caring conditions
• Look for plants at nurseries.
• Get them in spring and summer.
• They can be brought all year-round in warmer climates.
• Choose healthy-looking plants.
• A healthy plant has signs of new leaves and flower buds.
• Buy Rhus plant in 1-gallon containers.
• Choose a site.
• The site should receive full sun.
• The site should have a well-drained soil.
• The plant can tolerate partial shade.
• Dig a hole for each plant.
• This hole should be no deeper than the soil in which the plant was growing.
• Dig planting holes.
• These holes should be spaced three feet apart.
• Add a light application of organic fertilizer.
• Apply it to each planting hole.
• This should be done before setting the plants in.
• Mulch around the plant and not on top of the plants.
• Mulch it with 3 inches of organic compost.
• Water until the soil is completely moist.
• Water weekly the first summer only.
• Rhus plant does not need extra water once it is established.
• Prune out selected stems.
• Do so for the size.
• Prune if they are damaged.
• Prune it using by-pass pruners or a pruning saw.
• Do cut the stem off all the way back to the joint of the stem or where it joins another stem.
• Rhus plants make a good high ground cover for slopes.
• They look well along the top or bottom of a wall.
• They go well in a hot, sunny location.
• Rhus plants usually spread 6 to 8 feet all around.