Maryland Native Plants for Fall

‘Gro-low’ Fragrant Sumac

'Gro-low' Fragrant Sumac

‘Gro-low’ Fragrant Sumac is a deciduous low growing shrub.  It will provide lovely fall interest with it’s gorgeous orange, red and purple leaves.  It also is a great bird and butterfly attractant.  This shrub is highly tolerant, being drought and erosion tolerant.  It will also tolerate a variety of soil conditions.  Fragrant Sumac is a good choice for naturalizing areas and native plant gardens, as well as informal edges.  Stems and leaves are aromatic when broken.

LGS Notes:

There aren’t enough superlatives to describe how much I love fragrant sumac!   It tolerates just about any situation, is great for anchoring tough hillsides, and provides myriad wildlife benefits.  While only the female plants produce flowers and berries, the thickets formed by either plant provide valuable habitat.   And, in case that wasn’t enough, it also has lovely fall color and a sort of spicy, citrusy smell!  The cultivar  ‘Grow-Low’ is particularly useful as it hugs the ground and makes an excellent, rugged groundcover for tough sites. – Amy

This plant was unfamiliar to me before this season, but its drought resistance and excellent fall color made it a real standout in the nursery this year. I’ve now incorporated it into my plans for stabilizing a problematic hillside on my own property, and will be using it more often in my designs for LGS. -Jessica


Latin Name: Rhus aromatica
Common Name: fragrant sumac 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Anacardiaceae
Zone: 3 to 9
Height: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 6.00 to 8.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: Yellowish
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Insignificant
Attracts: Birds, Butterflies
Fruit: Showy
Tolerate: Rabbit, Drought, Erosion, Clay Soil, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil
Information from Missouri Botanical Garden


Blog Author: Chrissie M