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Pest Information

Staghorn Sumac

Staghorn Sumac

  • Latin Name: Rhus Typhina
  • Common Name: Staghorn Sumac
  • Other Names: Velvet sumac, Virginian sumac

Pest Details

Staghorn Sumac
Staghorn Sumac
Staghorn Sumac


A native shrub or tree that is found throughout the eastern U.S. and Canada, and west in a few states to Utah.


A perennial that loses its foliage in the winter, with reproduction from seeds and rhizomes. Parent plants are often surrounded by younger plants, and it is normal to find this plant growing in dense groupings. Seed pods are bright red, distinguishing this species from Poison Sumac, and these pods persist through the winter. Staghorn Sumac does not have toxic or irritating properties. A common plant along roadsides and in disturbed habitats, easily growing on nutrient-poor, dry soils. It is used as a garden plant but quickly becomes invasive into surrounding areas.


Mature trees grow to 20 feet in height, with spreading branches and dense foliage. The leaves are alternate and pinnately compound, with up to 31 large leaflets. The leaflets are lance shaped with serrate margins. The younger twigs and the stalks of the leaves and seed pods are densely covered with hairs.

Characteristicts Important to Control:

Plants can be killed with a systemic herbicide applied during the growth period. Dead plants will persist for a long period and may need to be physically removed once they are killed.

Related ProTraining Courses

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