|Rhus typhina subsp. var.|
Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina, synonym: R. hirta), is a deciduous shrub to small tree in the Anacardiaceae or Cashew family, native to eastern North America. It is primarily found in Southeastern Canada, the Northeastern and Midwestern United States, Southern Ontario, and the Appalachian Mountains. 
It grows to 3-10 m tall, and has alternate, pinnately compound leaves 25-55 cm long, each with 9-31 serrate leaflets 6-11 cm long. The leaf petioles and the stems are densely covered in rust-colored hairs.
Staghorn sumac is dioecious, and large clumps can form with either male or female plants. The fruit of staghorn sumac is one of the most identifiable characteristics, forming dense clusters of small red drupes at the terminal end of the branches; the clusters are conic, 10-20 cm long and 4-6 cm broad at the base. The plant flowers from May to July and fruit ripens from June to September.  The foliage turns a brilliant red in autumn. The fruit has been known to last through winter and into spring.
Staghorn sumac spreads using its seeds, and by spreading rhizomes. This makes it so the tree forms colonies, with the oldest plants in the center, and the younger plants radiating out. It grows quite aggressively.
Rhus typhina is a weed in parts of Australia although often confused with Tree of Heaven.
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Rhus typhina, Linn. (R. hirta, Sudw. Schmaltzia hirta, Small). Staghorn Sumac. Shrub or tree, to 30 ft.: branchlets densely velvety-hairy: lfts. 11-31, oblong-lanceolate, pointed, serrate, glaucescent beneath, 2-5 in. long: fls. greenish, in dense terminal panicles: fr. crimson, hairy. June, July; fr. Aug., Sept. Que. to Ont., south to Ga., Ind., and Iowa. Var. laciniata, Wood. Lfts. and bracts deeply and laciniately toothed and the infl. sometimes partly transformed into contorted bracts. Var. dissecta, Rehd. (var. laciniata, Hort.). Lfts. pinnately dissected. A very handsome form with finely cut foliage. R. typhina filicina, Sprenger, is probably not different.—The staghorn sumac grows in the driest soils and is a very desirable plant on account of its brilliant fall coloring, which in dry localities begins to show in Aug., and with its crimson fr.-clusters persisting through the winter. Trained in tree form it is very picturesque, but is short-lived.
Staghorn sumac grows in gardens, lawns, the edges of forests, and wasteland. It can grow under a wide array of conditions, but is most often found in dry and poor soil on which other plants cannot survive. Some landscapers remove all but the top branches to create a "crown" effect in order to resemble a small palm tree.
Pests and diseases
- ↑ United States Geological Survey: "Rhus Typhina Range Map" accessed 2008-03-02
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Richard H. Uva, Joseph C. Neal and Joseph M. Ditomaso, Weeds of The Northeast, (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1997), P. 326-327.
- ↑ Sullivan, Janet. 1994. Rhus typhina. In: Fire Effects Information System (Online). U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory.
- ↑ USDA Forest Service: Woody Plant Seed Manual: Rhus.
- ↑ Cutleaf Staghorn Sumac
- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963