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Rhus Trilobata belongs to the family of Anacardiaceae.

Images of Rhus Trilobata at

Rhus Trilobata belongs to the family of Anacardiaceae.

Overview of Rhus Trilobata

• Rhus Trilobata is a small tree or shrub.
• It is an evergreen shrub.
The common names of this plant are:
– Sourberry
– Skunkbush
– Three-leaf sumac
• It is native to the western half of Canada and the Western United States.
• It can be found from deserts to mountain peaks up to about 7,000 feet in elevation.

Rhus trilobata, grows in many types of plant communities like:
– The grasslands east of the Rocky Mountains
– Mountainous shrubland
– Pine
– Juniper
– Fir forests
– Wetlands
– Oak woodlands
– Chaparral
• The Rhus trilobata leaves have a very strong scent when crushed.
• The aroma is medicinal or bitter.
• The leaves are green when new and turn orange and brown in the fall.
• The twigs are fuzzy.
• The flowers are white or light yellow.
• The acidity comes from tannic and gallic acids.
• The flowers are animal-pollinated.
• The seeds are dispersed by animals that eat the berries.
• The skunkbush sumac has historically been used for medicinal and other purposes.
• The bark has been chewed or brewed into a drink for cold symptoms.
• Its berries are eaten for gastrointestinal complaints and toothache.
• The leaves and roots are boiled and eaten for many complaints.

Scientific classification for Rhus Trilobata

• Kingdom: Plantae
• (unranked): Angiosperms
• (unranked): Eudicots
• (unranked): Rosids
• Order: Sapindales
• Family: Anacardiaceae
• Genus: Rhus
• Species: R. trilobata

Growing and caring conditions for Rhus Trilobata

• 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.

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