Evergreen Sumac

Rhus Virens

This native evergreen shrub thrives with very little care or attention.

In full sun, evergreen sumac will get large, bushy, and rather round, but if grown in dappled shade, it will have a more open, lithe appearance, getting about 10 feet tall, and potentially just as wide.

The bright green, shiny leaves, often with red-tinged petioles, make this a very attractive ornamental shrub.

Blooming in late summer, the flowers are small, but lovely; a beautiful creamy white that attract bees and other tiny pollinators. The resulting red, fuzzy fruit is a great boon for birds and other wildlife, making this a great addition to any naturalist’s garden or landscape. And it’s edible for us, too!

Evergreen sumac also responds well to light pruning, making it a good choice for natural hedges, perhaps separating one section of the yard from another, or screening out an offensive view.

Native to rocky hillsides with almost no soil, evergreen sumac performs surprisingly well in areas with a little heavy clay. It needs virtually no supplemental irrigation once established, and no fertilization at all.

It is, however, quite a yummy snack for deer, so be prepared to protect it during its first few years in the ground, until it gets large enough to recover from being nibbled on.