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February 2013
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Rhus Typhina or Staghorn Sumac belongs to the Anacardiaceae or Cashew family.

Images of Rhus Typhina at

Rhus Typhina is also known as the Staghorn Sumac and it belongs to the Anacardiaceae or Cashew family.

Overview of Rhus Typhina

• It is a deciduous shrub to small tree.
• It is a native to eastern North America.
• It is primarily found in:
– Southeastern Canada
– Northeastern US
– Midwestern United States
– Appalachian Mountains
• It can grow up to a height of 3–10 m.
• It has alternate and pinnately compound leaves.
• They are about 25–55 cm long.
• Each has 9–31 serrate leaflets.
• They are 6–11 cm long.
• The leaf petioles and the stems are densely covered in rust-colored hairs.
• The fruit forms dense clusters of small red drupes at the terminal end of the branches.
• The clusters are conic.
• They are 10–20 cm long and 4–6 cm broad at the base.
• The plant flowers from May to July.
• The fruit ripens from June to September.
• Rhus spreads by seeds and by rhizomes.

Rhus Typhina or Staghorn sumac grows in:
• Gardens
• Lawns
• The edges of forests
• Wasteland

Uses of Rhus Typhina

• The fruit of sumacs can be made into pink lemonade.
• All parts except the roots can be used as both a natural dye and as a mordant.
• The plant is rich in tannins.

Scientific classification of Rhus Typhina

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

Growing and caring conditions for Rhus Typhina

• 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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