Accession Count: 3
It is suggested that Rhus choriophylla is indigenous to the area of origin, the Mexican desert (1). It was later found from central Texas to northern Mexico and has since spread to Arizona and New Mexico (2,3). The native habitat of this species is on hillsides and bluffs that are particularly rocky, as well as arid hillsides (2,3).
Rhus choriophylla can thrive in full sun or partly shaded areas (2,3,4). The Evergreen Sumac requires very low amounts of water as it drought resistant, being native to a desert region (2). The soil that this plant can live in is rocky, but it can be known to adapt to other soils (3,4). Rhus choriophylla is one sex and often grows from a single parent (3). Only the female evergreen sumacs generate flowers and berries (3).
This plant feeds various mammals, birds, butterflies, and honey bees (3). Humans could have a reaction this plant as it is related to Poison Ivy (5). The Navajo were known to ground down the berries and use a sort of meal (5). The berries from Rhus choriophylla have also been known to be eaten fresh, mixed with other fruits, or dried and stored for later use (5). It was also thought to have medicinal purposes. Often the bark was chewed and the juice was used to treat the common cold (5). It is also used as an ornamental piece for yards (3). The berries can also make a tea if soaked in water for a short period of time (3). The Comanche Indians have used the leaves with tobacco in order to smoke the tobacco (4). Rhus choriophylla is also thought to help with asthma symptoms (4).
6 - 10 feet
6 - 10 feet
Low water Use