Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Rhus typhina 'will be the next candidate for that slot. This picture is of a cultivar called 'tiger eyes' that sits on one of the terrace beds in Sarah P. Duke Gardens. Its yellowish green leaves may be a bit much for some folks but I think the color would be perfect surrounded by the darker green foliage of Carolina allspice or cherry laurel. The more everyday Rhus that you might find growing along the Blue Ridge Parkway has darker green leaves. Staghorn sumac should not be conufused with the weedy and invasive tree-of-heaven which has similar leaves. You can count on the sumac to colonize by suckers, even on sites that are dry or have poor soil-- a perfect choice for a steep embankment that you do not wish to mow or fertilize. I should also mention that the Staghorn sumac is probably best known for its bright red fall color.