5 Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina)

4 March 2020

Trying to keep as many non-birds on the list as birds at the moment but plants are tricky in the snow. One that stands out just now is the Staghorn Sumac (Vinagrier in Québec). There are a lot of these trees in the top right hand corner of the continent – something that surprised me coming here from Europe as back there they are known to have been a “big mistake” when planted as ornamentals because of their highly invasive roots that get into drains and break up road surfaces and foundations. Here, where they evolved, they seem to be better behaved. Quite attractive trees/shrubs with bright breen leaves that change to a very nice yellow and red in the fall. They bear large, upright clusters of fuzzy red fruits that appear above the branches in late summer on female plants and which are highly appealing to birds throughout the winter.