Staghorn Sumac

About Eliza Waters

Gardener, writer, photographer, naturalist
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64 Responses to Aflame

  1. Laurie Graves says:

    Beautiful flames!

  2. Pingback: Aflame – The Militant Negroโ„ข

  3. pastpeter says:

    Sumac has for me the most interesting palette of fall colors – in 50ft you can find everything from green to yellow to orange to scarlet. For such a “humble roadside plant” it puts on a great show! Down here in zone 7 it grows to 30-50 feet, but doesn’t develop the bright colors that it does in the north country. Early frosts have their advantages!

    • Eliza Waters says:

      It’s true, there is some benefit to the cold! I do love the range of color in sumac, too. Ours sometimes get to 30′ in protected wood edges, but being soft wood, don’t live long. Ice and snow often break them, if the dratted bittersweet hasn’t pulled them down first.

  4. Bela Johnson says:

    LOVELOVELOVE sumac. A friend in VT took some stunning sumac photos against the mist of fields and hills in the background. Winter’s a-comin’! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. How beautiful! ๐Ÿ๐ŸŒน๐Ÿ

  6. Christina says:

    I love Sumacs, I know they sucker but I would grow one here if I found one. I’d then have an endless supply of Sumac power to use in the kitchen.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Yes, it is easy to overlook their weedy nature for their beauty and usefulness. Rhus is a large family, and I’ve read of a Mideastern species that is used as a spice. Not sure which species it is, but maybe you could get some seed. They self-sow here quite readily (I think the birds spread them).

    • Eliza Waters says:

      It is Rhus coriaria that is used for spice and from what I read, it is commercially available in Europe. Maybe there is a sumac bush in your future. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Christina says:

        I use Sumac quite a lot because I love Middle Eastern food. Sadly it isn’t available here although maybe I could get it on Amazon. I have quite a lot at the moment as I husband worked in Iran and he bought a couple of large packs back with him. Thanks for the info on the variety, I didn’t know that.

  7. tonytomeo says:

    Another one we don’t have here. It looks sort of like the related pistache.

  8. It certainly lives up to the title

  9. Beautiful colors – nature is amazing

  10. The sumac does tend to shout out this time of year – look at me. Love the bright red. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Alice Pratt says:

    It’s quite unique with it’s furry branches and brilliant colors.

  12. Rita Pichette says:

    I know it’s a weed shrub, but I love it!!

  13. wow! wow! wow! This so shows your artistic eye!

  14. Kris P says:

    More gorgeousness!

  15. susurrus says:

    I think the shape is more elegant than weedy. The slender leaflets are very decorative, the fall colours are amazing and there are berries too. What’s not to like?

  16. Robin says:

    I love this. The sumacs manage to put out such great color. Our bluebirds enjoy them, too, during the winter months. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you, Robin. They are a colorful bunch. We get winter robins, waxwings and bluebirds, as well as little chickadees feasting upon them. The berries they drop litter the snow, red dots on white.

  17. I’ve always liked sumac. Supposedly, you can make lemonade from it. I’m a little wary of it.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      I’ve read that as well. Being from the cashew family (and other sumacs of the toxic variety), it is wise to know exactly which one you are using. Apparently, this one is a powerful antioxidant.

      • One of the reasons I have avoided them is the potential for something bad – I have been told the only ones you have to avoid are the ones with white berries, which I am pretty sure I wouldn’t even identify as sumac if I saw them (as they look nothing like what I think of as sumac).

      • Eliza Waters says:

        I’m pretty sure that Staghorns are the only one with fuzzy stems, the rest are smooth.

  18. rickii says:

    When I went away to college, the fall color on the sumac was the one thing I was homesick for.

  19. jennymarie4 says:

    Stunning fall color!

  20. Brian Skeys says:

    They are beautiful for Autumn colour. I grow one in a pot because they can be invasive.

  21. Beautiful shot. Sumac is particularly spectacular in the fall.

  22. This was such an awesomely wonderful post!!! So beautiful.
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  23. MK says:

    ah, the gentle kind of flames.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Yes, I admit I did pause over that title because of my CA friends who have felt the threat or suffered losses recently. I am sensitive to that and don’t take it lightly… I hope I didn’t offend anyone. The title seemed to be a good fit, so I went with it.

  24. Brenda says:

    Gorgeous. The sumacs have been the brightest leaves up here this year.

  25. bittster says:

    A beauty!
    Sumac is my favorite weed. It sprouts up all over the place but I tolerate it for the same reasons you do, plus I’m amazed by how many animals feed on those fuzzy, unappetizing-looking fruit clumps. I do need to cut it back again though, like you say, it’s not long lived and a few fresh sprouts will do wonders to rejuvinate the fall foliage show.

  26. Jewels says:

    Love the brilliant color of sumac, beautiful Eliza!

  27. Kathy Sturr says:

    Oh my. One of my favorites and you have captured its stunning fall show so perfectly! I so hope to have a large patch of this growing at the lake one day!

  28. Beautiful colors, but beware of the toxicodendron variety! I keep a sharp eye out in the eastern Carolina low country when out with my Boy Scouts. The berries are white and stems are smooth red, otherwise it’s difficult to differentiate from the non-poisonous version.

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