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Smooth Sumac Shrub - Rhus glabra
The Smooth Sumac shrub is a small bush like plant that grows with extended flat crowns. The shrub tends to grow in small scattered bunches with lots of sucker leaves attached. The shrub can grow in a wide range of conditions. While it normally bonds with acidic environments, it also thrives in clay, sandy and normal climate conditions. The small pin shaped leaves of the shrub can grow up to 14 inches a piece. These leaves grow on thin, hairless light brown stems. The dark green, glossy leaves turn colors in the autumn to a bright red color. The vibrant red color attracts curious insects such as bees and butterflies. While the top side of the leaves have a mildly rough feel, the back sides are smooth. This shrub has a pattern of growing upright. The leaves provide cover like that of an umbrella for the surrounding plants. While the flowers of this plant are green, the fruits are a lusty red color. The female fruits, which are small hairy berry clusters, provide food for wildlife such as birds. These cluster stay on the plant until the middle of winter. Male fruit clusters on the plant develop a yellow and light green color during the June bloom phase. The shrub is also able to tolerate mild drought. The amount of water determines the size and maturity of the plant. For the shrub to reach its full potential, it must be constantly exposed to full sun. Shading the plant isn't necessary if weather conditions aren't humid. Growing can be stunned if the shrub receives too much shade. Although the plant doesn’t grow big vertically, it can reach a width of 10-15 feet once well established. The spiky, ferny leaves and stems make it an ideal shrub for landscaping or home gardening. It’s twig bark has been used to create medicinal supplements and tea in the past.