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African Sumac

Rhus lancea

Photo © by Michael Plagens

This photo was taken in Phoenix, Arizona January 2005.

TREE : Cultivated tree. Often 4 to 8 m tall. Branches or multiple trunks have dark, fissured bark and often extend horizontally to a considerable degree with gracefull twists and dips.

LEAVES Dark green shiny leaves are palmately compound with 3 to 5 leaflets, and are alternate.

RANGE: Widely planted in Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona. Native to southern Africa. Spreading into Sonoran Desert washes and seemingly able to tolerate drought conditions - could become an invasive weed in this situation.

FLOWERS: Numerous small flowers are borne in dense panicles.

FRUIT: Small berries are greenish red when mature and sticky. The fruits are eaten occasionally by birds thereby distributing the seeds. Plants frequently volunteer in hedgerows and gardens.

Anacardiaceae -- Sumac Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2009