Meet . . . Rhus!

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Rhus, or Sumac, as they're known, are common shrubs in our area and popular for their brilliant red and orange fall foliage. They are all drought tolerant and do well in poor soils. Heights can range from about 2' to 10', so make sure you have the right plant for your specific planting location. Unfortunately, both the Smooth Sumac, Rhus glabra-such as the cutleaf variety shown in this photo, and the Staghorn Sumac, Rhus typhina, tend to sucker and can become invasive.

One of my favorites is the Grow- Low Fragrant Sumac, Rhus aromatica 'Grow-Low'. It's an excellent xeriscape plant with a low, broad form (2'x6') that works well with other shrubs or perennials. It also has small, fuzzy red berries that the birds love. Try this plant with Pinon pine and rabbit brush.

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