African Sumac

Searsia (Rhus) lancea

Searsia 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 almost to a considerable degree with graceful twists and dips.

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

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 are sticky. The fruits are eaten occasionally by birds thereby distributing the seeds. Plants frequently volunteer in hedgerows and gardens.

Anacardiaceae -- Sumac Family

Sponsored Links:

More Information:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
Sonoran Desert Places
Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 13 March 2005,
updated 20 Feb. 2022.