Rhus typhina may also be known by it's common name of Stag's Horn Sumac. The one in our garden is turning the most exotic shade of yellow and orange. Whenever I look out of the back window it glows through the the bare branches of other trees and shrubs.
The Rhus is a native of North America. There it can grow to an amazing 20m. It was first brought to Britain in the 1620s and tends to grow to a few metres in height. It has quite a spreading architectural habit and comes into it's own at this time of year.
This is one of P's favourite shrubs and was planted at his request. A friend of ours was horrified that we had planted a Rhus Typhina. Didn't we know it suckered from one end of the garden to the other? An opportunity for new plants I assured her, quietly imagining Rhus taking over the garden.....We would rue the day that we planted it, was her last word on the subject.
Certainly it was a small spindly speciman when we planted it and has come on in leaps and bounds.... It is also suckering here and there but nothing that can't be handled... and it does have this glorious autumn colour.
It is now the size of a large shrub. The leaves are finely-cut and dark green throughout the summer. If you have a female plant they produce dark red fruits which provide a contrast with the fiery orange of the leaves. We have had neither flowers nor fruit so far.
But this beautiful shrub (soon to be a tree at this rate) is worth planting for the show it puts on at this time of year and lighting up increasingly gloomy days.