Rhus glabra - Smooth Sumac
Scientific Name: Rhus glabra
Common Name: Smooth Sumac
Smooth sumac, a native of Eastern North America from Quebec to Georgia, has been in cultivation since the early 17th century. It arrived in Britain around 1726.2
Smooth sumac is a deciduous, North American shrub that forms brilliant scarlet, plume-like fruit clusters on the female plants. The glabrous leaves turn an intense red or orange-red in autumn.
- Peggy Cornett, n.d.
Primary Source References
1786 January 27. (Jefferson to John Bartram, Jr.). "Inclosed is a list of plants and seeds which I should be very glad to obtain from America for a friend here whom I wish much to oblige ... Rhus glabrum ...."3
- Dutton, Joan Parry. Plants of Colonial Williamsburg. Williamsburg: Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 1979.
- Horsfield, Thomas. An Experimental Dissertation on the Rhus Vernix, Rhus Radicans and Rhus Glabrum: Commonly Known in Pennsylvania by the Names of Poison-ash, Poison-vine and Common Sumach. Philadelphia: Printed by Charles Cist, 1798.
- Leighton, Ann. American Gardens in the Eighteenth Century. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1986.
- Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants.