Rhus trilobata (aromatica), Fragrant Sumac is a very tidy looking deciduous shrub. It has a very attractive arching habit and some of the most beautiful fall color in warmer drier climates. Rhus trilobata is native from Oregon, down through California and Baja, across to the Rocky Mountains and down to Texas. It likes sun to part shade. It looks tidier in more sun. It is very drought tolerant. It looks very similar to poison oak but without the irritating qualities of it. Native Americans used the berries as a mordant in dyes. Kearney and Peebles also say the berries were eaten. McMinn says that people made a tea like pink lemonade out of them. Syn. Rhus aromatica. (Have some Skunk Bush tea...?)
Rhus trilobata tolerates sand.
Rhus trilobata is great for a bird garden.
Foliage of Rhus trilobata turns a different color in the fall, is deciduous and has fragrance.
Flower of Rhus trilobata has color yellow.
Fruit of Rhus trilobata is edible.
Communities for Rhus trilobata:Chaparral, Coastal Sage Scrub and Central Oak Woodland.