Illinois' Best

Rhus aromatica 'Gro-Low'

A durable shrub for large areas

Fragrant sumac has nice three-part, softly toothed leaves. When the leaves are rubbed, they emit an interesting aroma reminiscent of lemon furniture polish. Although fragrant sumac is actually related to poison ivy, most people are not allergic to this plant. Growing only 2' to 6' in height, this spreading shrub is ideal for mass plantings. Fragrant sumac is not grown for its flowers. However, its small fruit, a hairy red drupe borne on the female plants in late summer, often remains to provide interest throughout the autumn before falling in early winter. In fall, the foliage turns a red-purple characteristic of most sumacs.  

Rhus aromatica
Fragrant sumac
Family: Cashew (Anacardiaceae)
Type: Deciduous tree/shrub

Mature Size:
3-5 feet

  Flower Color:
  Bloom Season:
full sun to partial shade
  Soil Moisture:
attracts butterflies
native to the Midwest
  Landscape Use:
bedding or border
ground cover
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funded by the Library Services and Technology Act, 1998.