New Mexico evergreen sumac Anacardiaceae Rhus
virens Lindh. ex A. Gray symbol: RHVI3
Leaf: Alternate, tardily deciduous (the leaves turn red in late winter and fall off as new leaves emerge), pinnately compound, 5 to 9 elliptical leaflets per leaf, each generally 1 inch long, entire leaf 3 to 4 inches long, leathery, shiny green above and paler below.
Flower: Species is dioecious; pale, yellow-white and small; borne in loose 2 to 4 inch long terminal or axillary clusters, appearing in late summer.
Fruit: An egg-shaped, flattened drupe borne on panicles, orange-red to red, 1/4 inch across, covered with short, sticky, red hairs, matures late fall, but present through winter.
Twig: Moderately stout, red and green with a gray fine fuzz (later turning gray and smooth); buds small hairy nearly hidden by petiole.
Bark: Initially light gray and smooth; larger specimens become quite bit scaly, with a reddish brown evident under the scaly patches.
Form: Large, wide spreading shrub up to 10 feet tall with a rounded crown.
Looks like: littleleaf sumac - poison sumac
Additional Range Information: Rhus virens is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting New Mexico evergreen sumac.
External Links: 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