American sumac - Rhus Typhina

American sumac - Rhus Typhina

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The American Sommaco or Rhus Typhina is a shrub, or small tree, with deciduous leaves, native to North America.
It has an erect trunk, generally short, and a very branched, disordered, rounded, very flattened crown; the bark is smooth, gray-brown in color, tends to break in flakes over the years.
The leaves are green, composed of 10-15 small lanceolate, pointed leaves; in autumn they become red-orange, before falling.
In high summer it produces erect panicles, 15-20 cm high, made up of small white flowers; in late summer on the same panicles appear the fruits, small reddish drupes, covered with a light down; the panicles of fruit remain on the tree for many weeks, highlighting much in winter on the trees completely devoid of leaves.
The roots of sumac American they are rhizomatous, therefore it produces numerous basal suckers, which it is good to remove to allow a balanced growth to the plant.


The Rhus Typhina should be planted in a very sunny place, even if the plant can develop quite well even in areas of partial shade, but it does not like the full shade and in that case it will not develop properly. It does not fear the cold and can withstand temperatures even below -15 ° C. In particularly cold winters it is advisable to protect the plant by placing leaves or straw at its base, so as to repair the roots and the stem from the most intense waves of frost.


in general the American Sommaco is satisfied with the rain, being able to bear without any problem even long periods of drought; in the same way they develop even in wet areas.
Obviously if grown in the garden it is possible to supply them with water every two or three weeks, taking care to check that the soil is well dry between one irrigation and another. If the Rhus Typhina is grown in pots then it will be necessary to water it more frequently.
At the beginning of spring it is good to supply the plant with fertilizer rich in nitrogen, in the form of organic fertilizer or as a slow release granular fertilizer.


The Rhus Typhina has no particular needs as regards the soil, developing without problems both in acid soils and in soils with high ph; in the same way it grows both in soils rich in organic matter, and in very poor soils; the only useful trick to allow the maximum development is to guarantee a well-drained soil, so as to avoid possible harmful water stagnation.


The multiplication of this shrub occurs by seed or by cuttings; It is also possible to take basal shoots that root easily; these will be planted in autumn and the cuttings in summer.

American sumac - Rhus Typhina: Pests and diseases

In general, the American sumac is not attacked by parasites or diseases, although sometimes a number of aphids can be seen on the inflorescences. For this reason it may be useful, in spring, to implement a preventive treatment with a broad-spectrum insecticide that can prevent the possible attack by parasites; it could also be a good idea to use a fungicide product to prevent the formation of fungi which could be favored by the cool and moist climate.