Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac Information Center

Staghorn Sumac

Common Name: staghorn sumac, velvet sumac, Rhus hirta, scarlet sumac, upland sumac
Family: Anacardiaceae
Genus: Rhus
Latin Name: Rhus typhina

The staghorn sumac in some areas will grow more like a shrub than a tree. This tree is wild and in some areas of the country invasive. It's leaves are pinnately compound with 11 to 31 lance-shaped leaflets. Twigs are hairy. Bark is dark brown and smooth or scaly. This plant prefers open uplands, edges of forests, roadsides, and old fields for habitat.

Interesting Fact: Staghorn sumac has been mentioned as being used (the berries that is) in making a drink similar in flavor to lemonade.

Staghorn sumac has brownish hair on twigs (pinkish / red hairs on young growth). The leafllet shape here is also different from poison sumac as the staghorn sumac has lance-shaped leaflets and poison sumac leaflets are more elliptical.