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Rhus lancea

African Sumac

  • Category: Desert Tree, Drought Tolerant, Shade Trees
  • Mature Height: 35'
  • Mature Width: 30'
  • Light Requirements: Full sun to part shade
  • Water Requirements: Medium, drought tolerant once established
  • Hardiness Zones: , ,

African Sumac is a semi-evergreen tree with a spreading canopy and beautiful, weeping branches. The sword-shaped leaves are dark green and reach up to five inches long. Excellent for use as a small urban shade tree. While the flowers are inconspicuous, the female trees do produce berry-like fruit in fall that forms in clusters. Berries are yellow or red. The deep red colored bark offers a wonderful contrast to the green foliage. Plants thrive in alkaline soils with a high pH. They also tolerate salt and so make good coastal plantings. Plant in groups in large landscapes and public spaces, and near patios where the red bark can be enjoyed. African sumac requires only moderate maintenance; basal suckers will need to be removed occasionally.

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