Shining Sumac also known as Winged Sumac was once a common shrub when all farms had fence rows. It is still common in some areas but has largely disappeared in others. This late summer blooming shrub is a favorite of honeybees and many other pollinators.
This Sumacs form is a mounding spreading shrub. Its lacey leaves blend into the background of summer green but, in late summer, July and August, its creamy yellow flower heads show themselves over the tops of the shrubs. These flowers hum with pollinators for several weeks providing both pollen and nectar at a time when little else is blooming. As the seeds are forming these flower heads change to rusty red seedheads atop still green shrubs. Then, with shortening days and cooling nights , the leaves turn a brilliant scarlet against the still green backdrop of early fall.
The seedheads persist long into winter where the birds feed on the seeds and insects hiding in the seed heads.
Sumacs are vigorous shrubs that can become unruly if left to their own devices. They do send up shoots from underground runners. These can be kept in check by regular mowing. If allowed to grow a few years, they will require some serious chopping to cut back.
Shining Sumac is hardy in zones 4 to 9 and can grow to 20′ tall though most are 8′ to 12′ tall.