Monday, February 21, 2011
Great Color and Great Texture
When I was a little girl we had a Sumac in our yard. It was not very tall but it spread out very wide. We never knew what the shrub was, but it was very old and always called the "crooked tree". It offered hours of fun, bouncing and climbing on the limbs that bowed to the ground. The color in fall was stunning in colors of red, yellow and orange. The leaves were very soft to the touch. When we moved away from the house, I still remembered all the fun that we had playing on the limbs. It wasn't till I started gardening that I found out that the tree was a Staghorn sumac or Rhus typhina and a shrub. In my area you do not see many of them and I have never seen one as big as the one that grew in our yard. Several years ago I came across a Sumac in a local nursery called 'Tigereye Bailtiger'. I knew I had to have this one for my garden. The 'Tigereye Bailtiger' Sumac stays a nice lemon lime color during the summer then turns to those stunning colors that I remember as a kid.
Sumac's are easy to grow and prefer a sunny location. Any reasonable garden soil will work.
The 'Tigereye Bailtiger' grows to about 6 feet tall and wide. The female plant will produce a flower head that is hairy and dark red, which is a nice contrast to the foliage color. Sumac's do prefer a moist but well drained site. Be aware that this plant suckers and can be invasive in some areas. It can also have several different disease and insect problems like canker, powdery mildew, wood rot, scale, etc. I have not experienced any problems with mine as of yet. It is easy to propagate by cuttings, suckers or seeds. I really do enjoy the color and texture of Rhus typhina in the garden and remembering all those childhood days playing in the Sumac.
Did you Know - That Rhus typhina is a North American native shrub?
The Creative Gardener