Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Rhus copallinum


SPECIES: Rhus copallinum
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Coladonato, Milo 1992. Rhus copallinum. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: [].
ABBREVIATION : RHUCOP SYNONYMS : Rhus copallina L. SCS PLANT CODE : RHCO COMMON NAMES : winged sumac black sumac dwarf sumac flameleaf sumac mountain sumac prairie sumac shiny sumac southern sumac TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name for winged sumac is Rhus copallinum L. [43]. There are 3 varieties [3,40]: Rhus copallinum var. copallinum Rhus copallinum var. leucantha Rhus copallinum var. latifolia This review focuses on R. copallinum var. copallinum, the typical variety. LIFE FORM : Shrub-tree FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Rhus copallinum
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Winged sumac's range extends from southwestern Maine, south along the Coastal Plain to southeastern Florida and west to eastern Texas. Inland it occurs from central Michigan and central Wisconsin to southeastern Iowa, extreme southeastern Kansas, and Oklahoma [11,12,15,20]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES12 Longleaf - slash pine FRES13 Loblolly - shortleaf pine FRES14 Oak - pine FRES15 Oak - hickory FRES16 Oak - gum - cypress STATES : AL AR CT DE FL GA IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MS MO NH NJ NY NC OH OK PA RI SC TN TX VT VA WV BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : NO-ENTRY KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : K089 Black Belt K100 Oak - hickory forest K103 Mixed mesophytic forest K104 Appalachian oak forest K106 Northern hardwoods K110 Northeastern oak - pine forest K111 Oak - hickory - pine forest K112 Southern mixed forest K113 Southern floodplain forest SAF COVER TYPES : 40 Post oak - blackjack oak 64 Sassafras - persimmon 69 Sand pine 70 Longleaf pine 71 Longleaf pine - scrub oak 72 Southern scrub oak 79 Virginia pine 80 Loblolly pine - shortleaf pine 101 Baldcypress 102 Baldcypress - tupelo 109 Hawthorn 110 Black oak SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Winged sumac is found in many plant associations but is not an indicator of any particular habitat [35].


SPECIES: Rhus copallinum
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Winged sumac is considered a poor to moderately important browse for white-tailed deer [5,18]. In the Ozark Mountains of Missouri, the twigs are browsed extensively by white-tailed deer during the winter months when other more desirable browse is scarce [29]. Mature berries of winged sumac are eaten by grouse, wild turkey, and songbirds [20, 37]. The bark and twigs are eaten by rabbits, especially during the winter months [11]. PALATABILITY : NO-ENTRY NUTRITIONAL VALUE : The seeds and fruits of winged sumac are generally low in crude protein, crude fat, and calcium but high in tannin [29]. COVER VALUE : The thickets of winged sumac provide environmental protection for a variety of birds and mammals throughout its range [9,21]. VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : Winged sumac is tolerant to drought conditions. In a study conducted on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway in Tennessee, winged sumac showed the greatest and most consistent increase of any shrub during the drought of 1987 [17]. Winged sumac can be propagated by seed or by root cuttings [40]. OTHER USES AND VALUES : The bark and leaves of winged sumac contain tannin and are used in the tanning industry. The crushed fruit of this species was added to drinking water by Native Americans to make it more palatable [40]. Because of the attractive colorful features of the leaves and flowers, winged sumac is sometimes cultivated as an ornamental [15,19]. OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Winged sumac often competes with pine and other hardwoods [4]. Streamline basal application of the herbicide Garlon 4 has been reported as having a greater than 80 percent average control of winged sumac in northern Georgia and eastern Alabama [28]. Winged sumac is sensitive to ozone damage [16,34].


SPECIES: Rhus copallinum
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Winged sumac is a deciduous, fast-growing, short-lived, clonal shrub to small tree reaching heights of 20 to 30 feet (6-10 m) [11,15]. In the open, the plant has an irregular, bushy crown with long slender, alternate leaves on the branches. The dioecious flowers are borne in panicles clustered at the end of the branches. The red fruit is a small drupe containing a single nutlet. The fruits form dense clusters and remain on the plant through the winter [3,11,30]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Phanerophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Winged sumac regenerates vegetatively by sprouting from the roots and root crown [1,12]. It also regenerates sexually, but details have not been described [15,32]. The seeds are dispersed by animals [8,35]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Winged sumac can be found in open woodlands, fields, and along fence rows but grows best on low bottomlands with well-drained, neutral to slightly acidic soils [10,11,12,42]. It can also be found on poorly drained soils, but its growth there is very slow. Common associates of winged sumac include sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana), persimmon (Diospyros virginiana), redbay (Persea borbonia), dwarf huckleberry (Gaylussacia dumosa), wax-myrtle (Myrica cerifera), fetterbush (Lyonia lucida), blueberry (Vaccinium spp.), and titi (Cyrilla racemiflora) [2,10,22]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Winged sumac is an early-pioneer species that grows best in full sunlight [36]. It is considered a fire climax species that rapidly declines 3 to 4 years following fire [6,41]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Winged sumac shows its most pronounced growth between April and May. It flowers between July and August. The fruit ripens during September and October, and persists through the winter [3,40].


SPECIES: Rhus copallinum
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Winged sumac is well adapted to fire. Fire enhances germination of the plant by scarifying the seed [1,32]. Following top-kill by fire, winged sumac will sprout from the root crown [38]. Birds and mammals may transport some seed to burned sites. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : survivor species; on-site surviving root crown or caudex off-site colonizer; seed carried by animals or water; postfire yr 1&2 secondary colonizer; on-site germinating seed


SPECIES: Rhus copallinum
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Fire generally kills aboveground portions of the plant. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Fire stimulates root and root collar sprouting of winged sumac when aboveground portions are killed [38]. Winged sumac shows dramatic increases in stem production following fire [23,26,31]. The plant increased from 50 to 88 percent of the total plant density on annual burned plots in an oak forest in eastern Tennessee [7]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : NO-ENTRY FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Fire exclusion greatly reduces density and cover of winged sumac [6,38].


SPECIES: Rhus copallinum
REFERENCES : 1. Armstrong, W. E. 1980. Impact of prescribed burning on wildlife. In: White, Larry D., ed. Prescribed range burning in the Edwards Plateau of Texas: Proceedings of a symposium; 1980 October 23; Junction, TX. College Station, TX: Texas Agricultural Extension Service, The Texas A&M University System: 22-26. [11430] 2. Beaven, George Francis; Oosting, Henry J. 1939. Pocomoke Swamp: a study of a cypress swamp on the eastern shore of Maryland. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 66: 376-389. [14507] 3. Brinkman, Kenneth A. 1974. Rhus L. sumac. In: Schopmeyer, C. S., technical coordinator. Seeds of woody plants in the United States. Agric. Handb. 450. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 715-719. [6921] 4. Cain, M. D.; Mann, W. F., Jr. 1980. Annual brush control increases early growth of loblolly pine. Southern Journal of Applied Forestry. 4(2): 67-70. [6770] 5. Dalke, Paul D. 1941. The use and availability of the more common winter deer browse plants in the Missouri Ozarks. Transactions, 6th North American Wildlife Conference. 6: 155-160. [17044] 6. DeSelm, H. R.; Clebsch, E. E. C. 1991. Response types to prescribed fire in oak forest understory. In: Nodvin, Stephen C.; Waldrop, Thomas A., eds. Fire and the environment: ecological and cultural perspectives: Proceedings of an international symposium; 1990 March 20-24; Knoxville, TN. Gen. Tech. Rep. SE-69. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station: 22-33. [16630] 7. DeSelm, Hal R.; Clebsch, Edward E. C.; Rennie, John C. 1991. Effects of 27 years of prescribed fire on an oak forest and its soils in middle Tennessee. In: Coleman, Sandra S.; Neary, Daniel G., compiler. Proceedings, 6th biennial southern silvicultural research conference: Vol. 1; 1990 October 30 - November 1; Memphis, TN. Gen. Tech. Rep. SE-70. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station: 409-417. [17488] 8. Deen, Robert T.; Hodges, John D. 1991. Oak regeneration in abandoned fields: presumed role of the blue jay. In: Coleman, Sandra S.; Neary, Daniel G., compilers. Proceedings, 6th biennial southern silvicultural research conference: Vol. 1; 1990 October 30 - November 1; Memphis, TN. Gen. Tech. Rep. SE-70. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station: 84-93. [17465] 9. Dickson, James G.; Conner, Richard N.; Williamson, J. Howard. 1983. Snag retention increases bird use of a clear-cut. Journal of Wildlife Management. 47(3): 799-804. [13855] 10. Dobrowolski, J. P.; Blackburn, W. H.; Grelen, H. E. 1987. Sediment production from long-term burning of a longleaf pine-bluestem association. In: Pearson, Henry A.; Smeins, Fred E.; Thill, Ronald E., compilers. Ecological, physical, and socioeconomic relationships within southern National Forests: Proceedings of the southern evaluation project workshop; 1987 May 26-27; Long Beach, MS: Gen. Tech. Rep. SO-68. New Orleans, LA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Forest Experiment Station: 251-260. [12186] 11. Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1988. Trees of the southeastern United States. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 322 p. [12764] 12. Evans, James E. 1983. Literature review of management practices for smooth sumac (Rhus glabra), poison ivy (Rhus radicans), and other sumac species. Natural Areas Journal. 3(1): 16-26. [6248] 13. Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p. [905] 14. Garrison, George A.; Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Duncan, Don A.; [and others]. 1977. Vegetation and environmental features of forest and range ecosystems. Agric. Handb. 475. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 68 p. [998] 15. Godfrey, Robert K. 1988. Trees, shrubs, and woody vines of northern Florida and adjacent Georgia and Alabama. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 734 p. [10239] 16. Hacker, David; Renfro, James. 1992. Great Smoky Mountain plants studied for ozone sensitivity. Park Science. 12(1): 6-7. [17788] 17. Hartley, Jeanne J.; Arner, Dale H.; Hartley, Danny R. 1990. Woody plant succession on disposal areas of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. In: Hughes, H. Glenn; Bonnicksen, Thomas M., eds. Restoration '89: the new management challenge: Proceedings, 1st annual meeting of the Society for Ecological Restoration; 1989 January 16-20; Oakland, CA. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Arboretum, Society for Ecological Restoration: 227-236. [14698] 18. Hurst, George A. 1978. Effects of controlled burning on wild turkey poult food habits. Proceedings, Annual Conference of Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. 32: 30-37. [14648] 19. Johnson, A. Sydney; Landers, J. Larry. 1978. Fruit production in slash pine plantations in Georgia. Journal of Wildlife Management. 42(3): 606-613. [9855] 20. Johnson, E. W. 1963. Ornamental shrubs for the Southern Great Plains. Farmer's Bull. 2025. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 62 p. [12064] 21. Kalisz, Paul J.; Boettcher, Susan E. 1991. Active and abandoned red-cockaded woodpecker habitat in Kentucky. Journal of Wildlife Management. 55(1): 146-154. [13837] 22. Kirkman, W. Benson; Wentworth, Thomas R.; Ballington, James R. 1989. The ecology and phytosociology of the creeping blueberries, Vaccinium section Herpothamnus. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 116(2): 114-133. [9645] 23. Knapp, Alan K. 1986. Postfire water relations, production, and biomass allocation in the shrub, Rhus glabra, in tallgrass prairie. Botanical Gazette. 147(1): 90-97. [6215] 24. Kuchler, A. W. 1964. Manual to accompany the map of potential vegetation of the conterminous United States. Special Publication No. 36. New York: American Geographical Society. 77 p. [1384] 25. Little, Elbert L., Jr. 1979. Checklist of United States trees (native and naturalized). Agric. Handb. 541. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 375 p. [2952] 26. Loomis, Robert M. 1977. Wildfire effects on an oak-hickory forest in southeast Missouri. Res. Note NC-219. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station. 4 p. [8738] 27. Lyon, L. Jack; Stickney, Peter F. 1976. Early vegetal succession following large northern Rocky Mountain wildfires. In: Proceedings, Tall Timbers fire ecology conference and Intermountain Fire Research Council fire and land management symposium; 1974 October 8-10; Missoula, MT. No. 14. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 355-373. [1496] 28. Miller, James H. 1990. Streamline basal application of herbicide for small-stem hardwood control. Southern Journal of Applied Forestry. 14(4): 161-165. [13538] 29. Murphy, Dean A. 1970. Deer range appraisal in the Midwest. In: White-tailed deer in the Midwest: Proceedings of a symposium, 30th Midwest fish and wildlife conference; 1968 December 9; Columbus, OH. Res. Pap. NC-39. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station: 2-10. [13667] 30. Niering, William A.; Dreyer, Glenn D. 1989. Effects of prescribed burning on Andropogon scoparius in postagricultural grasslands in Connecticut. American Midland Naturalist. 122: 88-102. [8768] 31. Oosting, Henry J. 1944. The comparative effect of surface and crown fire on the composition of a loblolly pine community. Ecology. 25(1): 61-69. [9919] 32. Rasmussen, G. Allen; Wright, Henry A. 1986. Requirements for germination of flameleaf sumac seeds. In: Smith, Loren M.; Britton, Carlton M., eds. Research highlights--1986 Noxious brush and weed control; range and wildlife management. Volume 17. Lubbock, TX: Texas Tech University: 16. [3660] 33. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843] 34. Renfro, James R. 1989. Evaluating the effects of ozone on the plants of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Park Science. 9(4): 22-23. [9337] 35. Simpson, Benny J. 1988. A field guide to Texas trees. Austin, TX: Texas Monthly Press. 372 p. [11708] 36. Sotala, Dennis J.; Kirkpatrick, Charles M. 1973. Foods of white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus, in Martin County, Indiana. American Midland Naturalist. 89(2): 281-286. [15056] 37. Stransky, J. J.; Halls, L. K.; Nixon, E. S. 1976. Plants following timber harvest: importance to songbirds. Texas Forestry Pap. No. 28. Nacogdoches, TX: Stephen F. Austin State University, School of Forestry. 13 p. [15292] 38. Taylor, Dale L.; Herndon, Alan. 1981. Impact of 22 years of fire on understory hardwood shrubs in slash pine communities within Everglades National Park. Report T-640. Homestead, FL: National Park Service, South Florida Research Center, Everglades National Park. 30 p. [11961] 39. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 1982. National list of scientific plant names. Vol. 1. List of plant names. SCS-TP-159. Washington, DC. 416 p. [11573] 40. Vines, Robert A. 1960. Trees, shrubs, and woody vines of the Southwest. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. 1104 p. [7707] 41. Vogel, Willis G. 1981. A guide for revegetating coal minesoils in the eastern United States. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-68. Broomall, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 190 p. [15576] 42. Wade, Dale; Ewel, John; Hofstetter, Ronald. 1980. Fire in south Florida ecosystems. Gen. Tech. Rep. SE-17. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station. 125 p. [10363] 43. Gleason, Henry A.; Cronquist, Arthur. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. 2nd ed. New York: New York Botanical Garden. 910 p. [20329]

FEIS Home Page