smooth sumac Anacardiaceae Rhus
glabra L. symbol: RHGL
Leaf: Alternate, pinnately compound, 12 to 18 inches long, 11 to 31 lanceolate leaflets per leaf, each 2 to 4 inches long with a serrated margin, dark green above, paler and finely hairy below.
Flower: Species is dioecious; small, with pale yellow petals, borne in a dense upright cluster up to 8 inches long, appearing in mid to late summer.
Fruit: A small (1/8 inch) reddish, round, finely hairy drupe borne in dense upright cluster. The panicles typically droop when mature in the fall and persist into winter.
Twig: Stout, lacking hairs and often with a bluish glaucous bloom; buds are small, rounded and covered with light brown hairs, nearly encircled by leaf scar.
Bark: Brown-gray and smooth, with numerous lenticels, developing scaly ridges with age.
Form: A shrub or small tree up to 10 feet with a short or multi-stemmed trunk and wide spreading, open crown.
Looks like: shining sumac - staghorn sumac - tree-of-Heaven - poison sumac
Additional Range Information: Rhus glabra is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting smooth 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