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collage of Smooth Sumac and Staghorn Sumac

Smooth Sumac (Rhus glabra) vs. Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina)

Updated September 23rd, 2021

Smooth and staghorn sumac are very similar in appearance and overlap both in range and habitat. They are usually easily distinguished by the presence or absence of hairs along stems, and they also have differences in growth habit and berry clusters. The two plants, however, can hybridize, so it may not be possible to identify all individuals; hybrids are especially common in the upper Midwest. Smooth sumac ranges farther west and south and tends to be found in drier habitats, whereas staghorn sumac ranges farther north.

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