RHUS or SUMACH

S. or T. There is a number of species nearly all worth a place in gardens, given a sunny position. Rhus cotinoides, sometimes known as Cotinus americanus, makes a small tree up to 20 ft., notable for its brilliant autumn foliage which is orange, scarlet and purple. R. cotinus (Cotinus coggygria) also known as Venetian sumach, smoke plant and wig tree, grows to about 12 ft. with a most unusual ‘flower’ head. Strictly speaking, there are only a few small flowers, the smoke-like appearance coming from the tangled, silky stalks. The foliage turns red and yellow in autumn. This shrub does best in a dry position. Notcutt’s variety has mauve foliage and deeper-coloured ‘flowers’. R. typhina or stag’s horn sumach is especially useful for town gardens. It grows to about 10 ft. and the 2 ½ ft. l°ng leaves again colour well in autumn. Increase this species by detaching rooted suckers in October, other sumachs by half-ripe cuttings about 4 in. long in July.

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