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Evergreen Sumac

Rhus virens

Evergreen Sumac

Introduction

Evergreen Sumac grows as a multi-trunked shrub or small tree, reaching a height of 8 to 12 feet. The glossy, dark green leaves are evergreen through winter, dropping in early springs new leaves appear. Leaves are shiny and somewhat rosy pink in spring. After frost, they can become maroon until they drop. Clusters of honey-scented, white flowers appear in late summer, which are very attractive to bees and butterflies. Orange-red fuzzy berries develop in fall and can remain on the plant through Christmas. The berries are valuable food for birds and small mammals. Evergreen Sumac occurs in gullies and dry hillsides in the Edwards Plateau and Trans-Pecos, and Northern Mexico.

Use and Management

Plant on well-drained sites in part shade to full sun. Soil may be sand, loam, clay, caliche, limestone, or igneous. Do not overwater or plant under sprinkler irrigation where it will be watered with the lawn.

Use as a low hedge, lawn plant or background shrub.

Additional Characteristics

  • Soil Moisture: Moist, well-drained
  • Soil Types/Tolerance: Sand, loam, clay, caliche, limestone, or igneous
  • Uses: Low hedge, lawn plant or background shrub
  • Additional Features: Attracts bees, butterflies and birds.
  • Special Resistance: Deer like this plant

Planting

  • Available in 5 and 15 gal containers.
  • Suggested plant spacing are:
  • Plant 36” OC or as a specimen
  • Bed Preparation:
  • Spread 3” of bed mix in ground cover beds
  • Till 6” deep, rake beds to drain away from structure
  • Plant
  • Topdress with 2” of double ground (fine) hardwood mulch.
  • Hand water in after planting
  • Set sprinkler controller to water beds:
  • Once every two days for two weeks in spring and early fall.
  • Once a day for two weeks when temperatures reach 98+ degrees.
  • Have Owner monitor moisture and report over or under watering immediately.
  • After two weeks reassess the watering needs, and set at twice a week thereafter.

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