Virginia Tech Dendrology

fragrant sumac Anacardiaceae Rhus aromatica Aiton Listen to the Latin symbol: RHAR4
Leaf: Alternate, 3 large toothed leaflets, 3 to 5 inches long, terminal leaflet short-stalked, dull dark green above, paler below, fragrant odor when crushed.
Flower: Quite small, greenish yellow, in small round clusters; appearing in late spring to early summer.
Fruit: Round cluster of reddish brown, fuzzy drupes, each 1/4 inch across, ripen in mid to late summer.
Twig: Slender, brown, finely fuzzy, buds small and yellowish brown surrounded by a circular leaf scars. Flower buds occur in conspicuous, tight catkin-like clusters.
Bark: Gray-brown and tight, initially smooth with obvious lenticels, later developing peeling splits.
Form: Short sprawling shrub 2 to 4 feet tall.
Looks like: poison-ivy - poison-oak - skunkbush sumac
leaf flower fruit twig bark form1 map
Additional Range Information: Rhus aromatica is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting fragrant sumac.
More Information: Fall Color
External Links: USDAFS Additional Silvics - USDA Plants Database
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson