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. FIRE REGIMES : Find fire regime information for the plant communities in which this species may occur by entering the species name in the FEIS home page under "Find Fire Regimes". 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
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