Skunkbush Sumac


Skunkbrush Sumac

  • Fruit generally ripens from August to October, will remain on the stem throughout the winter
  • Leaves turn a bright red or orange in the fall
  • Drought resistant
  • Intolerant of flooding and high water tables
  • Grows well on depleted soils

Quantity is per pound. Example: 1 = 1 lb, 2 = 2 lbs, 3 = 3lbs, etc. This is pure seed, not a live plant.


Skunkbush Sumac Seed and Plant Description

Scientific name: Rhus trilobata

Also known as Three-Leaf Sumac, Skunkbrush, Oakbush Sumac or Squawbush.

Skunkbush Sumac grows 2 to 8 feet in height. The fruit, a small red berry containing a single seed, generally ripens from August to October and the fruit will remain on the stem throughout the winter. The fruit is highly acidic. The leaves turn a bright red or orange in the fall.

Skunkbush occurs in a variety of habitats including dry rocky slopes, along streams and canyon bottoms, waste places, pastures, roadsides, and on sand dunes, at elevations of 4,500 to 8,000 feet. It is drought resistant; it is intolerant of flooding and high water tables. It typically grows where maximum annual precipitation ranges from 10 to 20 inches. Skunkbrush grows well in sun or partial shade. It is tolerant of a wide range of soils from nearly bare rock to sand and heavy clay. It grows well on medium to coarsely textured, moist to dry, acidic to slightly alkaline soils. Growth is optimal in fairly deep soil. Skunkbrush grows well on depleted soils.

Skunkbush’s forage value is poor for all classes of livestock. Skunkbush provides some browse for deer, elk, and pronghorn when other more preferred forage is unavailable. In most locations, big game use tends to be heaviest during the winter when food supplies are most limited. Because the fruit persists through the fall and winter, this species can provide a ready food source for birds and small mammals when other foods are scarce or unavailable.

Native Americans used the fruits in foods and medicines, and in a lemonade-like beverage. Stems were woven into baskets. The Comanches smoked the leaves. Skunkbrush was also used in making dyes for clothing. Pioneers ate salted berries like and used exudes from the stem as a chewing gum.

Synonyms: Squawbush, Skunkbush, Sticky Sumac

Additional information
Seed Count


Growth Height

2-7 Feet

Plant Type


Seed Count pe Lb.






Minimum Precipitation

8 Inches

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