Winged sumac
Rhus copallinum

Winged Sumac

Winged sumac is found in mesic (moist) pinelands from the Keys throughout the Eastern and Central U.S. The height is usually 15 feet or less, yet may reach 30 feet. Very tolerant of drought and small amounts of salt air, yet not long term flooding.

Unfortunately winged sumac sends out suckers far from the parent plant. Best if grown as a colony under slash pine and given room to wander. The plants are dioecious, so plant several if you want the red berries which follow interesting white masses of flowers.

A lemonade flavored drink can be made by washing the red off of the berries, straining and adding sugar. The leaves are a beautiful red in the fall. Very nice when planted near a red maple.

Plant a mass on a hill or to fill up a large bare area along a wall or home. Winged sumac will rise above saw palmetto or other low shrubs in a pineland, keys or coastal setting. This is a larval food for the red-banded hairstreak. The masses of white flowers attract many butterflies and bees.