Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Staghorn Sumac - Rhus typhina   L.
Members of Rhus with account distribution info or public map:
Google Images
Section 6 » Order Sapindales » Family Anacardiaceae
Show/Hide Synonym
AuthorL.
DistributionEssentially only in the mountains, as well as several Piedmont foothills ranges. Generally does not occur at low elevations in the Piedmont, though a low-elevation population was discovered and photographed in Mecklenburg County in 2020.

This is a Northern species ranging from southern Canada south only to NJ, through the Appalachians to northern GA and AL, and MS.
AbundanceReasonably common to common in the mountains, but scarce in the upper Piedmont.
HabitatAs with several other tall sumac species, this species favors sunny habitats: old fields, thickets, wooded borders, fencerows, and barrens. It is not found in the shade of forests.
See also Habitat Account for General Sumac Thickets and Poison Ivy Tangles
PhenologyBlooms in May and June, and fruits from June to September.
IdentificationThis is a deciduous, very tall shrub to small tree, often growing to 15-20’ and rarely to 30’ tall. It has numerous (15-31) leaflets, each somewhat lanceolate and slightly serrate, and about 3-4” long. The leaflets are whitened and hairy beneath. However, the species is easily separated from other sumacs by its very tomentose stems and twigs; other sumacs are essentially glabrous on the stems. The red drupes are also very fuzzy. This species grows considerably taller than R. glabra and R. copallinum, as well.
Taxonomic CommentsThe species has often been named as Rhus hirta in the past, but is universally accepted to be named as R. typhina now.

Other Common Name(s)None
State RankS4
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
Photo Gallery
photographercommentsphoto_linkcountyobsType
David Campbell29 January 2020. Photo by David Campbell. Mecklenburg County, near the Cabarrus County line. MecklenburgPhoto_natural
Select a source
AllHerbaria
Individual
Website
Select an occurrence type
AllCollection_naturalPhoto_naturalSight_natural