Rhus typhina                                            

Staghorn Sumac


Safe Harbor Arboretum, River Road, Conestoga PA (along the Trail of History, to the right of the tennis courts)

Len Eiserer

This tree, about 12 feet tall, is rooted at the top of an old Silver Maple snag.  While seedlings sprouting in the decaying wood of trees is not unusual, this specimen is notable because the host maple was itself a significant tree (see separate entry).  [For another example of one tree giving life to another tree of a different species, see the entry for "White Birch/Millersville Pike."]


A native of Canada and the northeastern United States, Staghorn Sumac is very similar to Smooth Sumac (Rhus glabra).  It is not, however, closely related to Poison Sumac (Toxicodendron vernix) even though both share the "sumac" moniker.


This amazing species produces fruit that can be made into a pink beverage known as "Indian lemonade."