Rhus copallinum is the scientific name of the native Florida Sumac species. It also goes by the name of ‘Winged Sumac’, ‘Shining Sumac’, or ‘Dwarf Sumac’. All the Sumac species (Rhus) belong to the Cashew family of plants. Rhus copallinum is native to Eastern North America.
The Florida Native Sumac is a small, fast growing, low-maintenance tree/shrub that is very tough and hardy! It is capable of resisting drought, and is a frequent pioneer of disturbed areas. This tree produces a low hanging, well-crowned and spread out canopy, that attracts a lot of birds and wildlife. It is because of these reasons, that Rhus copallinum is one of the top species of trees recommended for land reclamation and rehabilitation projects. It’s great for urban areas because it can thrive in containers and areas with poor drainage and pollution.
Rhus copallinum is a deciduous tree capable of growing up to heights of 15 feet. It sports dark green leaves that will turn bright orange-red during the Fall. Native Florida Sumac is appreciated as an ornamental plant due to it’s brilliant fall foliage. Rhus copallinum will produce berries that taste like pink lemonade, and which can be used to make tea, jelly, or a lovely natural dye!
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