Rhus trilobata

Three-Leaf Sumac

  • Yellow Rhus trilobata, Rhus trilobata, Three-Leaf Sumac
  • Three-Leaf Sumac, Rhus trilobata



Three Leaf Sumac (Rhus trilobata) is a tough colorful native shrub with chartreuse spring flowers, red summer ripening fruit and colorful fall foliage in shades of yellow, orange and red. Drought resistant/drought tolerant plant (xeric).

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Zones 4 - 8
Bee Friendly
Bee Friendly
Light Requirements
Full Sun
Full Sun
Annual Rainfall
Less than 10" (with irrigation)
10 to 20"
Ideal Region
Only in Western US
Bloom Time Late spring to early summer
Shipping Shipping begins in late February based on ground temperatures, warmest zones first. More shipping info Learn More…
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5-6' tall x 6' wide. Three leaf sumac (Rhus trilobata) is a native shrub with tart, edible red berries and yellow to orange-red fall foliage. The showy fruit clusters are eaten by wild birds. Well adapted to a wide range of soils from sandy and rocky to red clay. Rhus is a good choice for screening and wind breaks. This plant and 'Gro-Low' Sumac are unrelated to poison sumac; the ornamental leaves do not cause skin irritation. Grows in most any soil type including clay. (seed propagated)
Associated SKUs
82560 (Plant - 2.5" deep pot) - Out of stock.
HBLL151 (Plant - 5" deep pot)
Common Name Three-Leaf Sumac
Botanical Name Rhus trilobata
Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Light Requirements Full Sun
Mature Height 5-6' tall
Mature Spread 6' wide
Bloom Time Late spring to early summer
Ships As Potted Plant
Native Yes
Planting Time Spring / Summer, Fall
Soil Type Clay Soil, Sandy Soil, Average Soil
Soil Moisture Drought Resistant / Waterwise
Amount of Rain Less than 10" (with irrigation), 10 to 20"
Advantages Bee Friendly, Native
Ideal Region Western Only, Southwest, West
Neonicotinoid-Free Yes - Learn More
Ships to Hawaii, Alaska & Canada No

Planting Guides

View more Planting Guides, or download our complete Planting Guide for tips on caring for your plants when you receive your order, as well as planting instructions for Perennials, Spring-Planted Bulbs, Fall-Planted Bulbs, Cacti & Succulents, Xeric Plants and more.


Plant Shipping: Buy now and we will ship your order at the ideal planting time for your region. Spring-Planted Perennial and Bulb orders will ship from February 27-June 30, warmest zones first.

Most plant and bulb orders arrive within 2-6 days, or less, of leaving our greenhouses in Colorado. This prompt delivery is provided without additional express charges.

Grass Plugs Will ship at planting time in spring, beginning in late February.

Wildflower Seed & Grass Seed Orders ship within 2-3 days.

Standard shipping costs are $4.99 and up, depending on the size of the order.

Make Fast Even Faster: For ‘Rush’ same week delivery, please call customer service at 800-925-9387.

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Reviewsby PowerReviews


by PowerReviews
High Country GardensRhus trilobata

(based on 3 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

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  • 1 Stars



Reviewed by 3 customers

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It arrived in healthy condition


from Englewood, CO

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Verified Buyer


  • Accurate Instructions
  • Hardy
  • Healthy


    Best Uses

    • Garden
    • Outdoors

    Comments about High Country Gardens Rhus trilobata:

    I planted the sumac in a challenging spot in a west-facing flower bed. It's grown well for about 1 year. Hoping it will add lots of fall color when it is bigger. I would buy again.

    • Primary use:
    • Personal

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


    Waiting to see if it can survive in my environment


    from Virginia City Highlands, NV

    Verified Buyer

    Comments about High Country Gardens Rhus trilobata:

    These have been in for just over a year now, seem healthy and are growing at a decent rate. I did find it necessary to construct wire cages around them, though, to protect them from the ground squirrels here, who sheared the new branches off to the ground. I'm hoping that as they reach mature size the cages can be removed.

    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)


    Ornamental Native is Tough AND Pretty!


    from Kanab southern UT high desert 5000ft up

    About Me Avid Gardener

    Verified Reviewer


    • Accurate Instructions
    • Attractive
    • Doesn't need pruning
    • Hardy
    • Healthy
    • Native


      Best Uses

      • Bird habitat
      • Native landscaping
      • Outdoors
      • Windbreak

      Comments about High Country Gardens Rhus trilobata:

      Fantastic! Similar to a currant in size and three season interest. Also, somewhat similar to manzanita in growth habit.
      I bought three last fall and they transplanted well. I planted on a very exposed slope, so I did place in depressions and added dried leaf mulch to help retain moisture. Then I watered regularly until winter made watering unnecessary.
      They did not grow at all that fall. When winter came they turned a glorious red, then defoliated for the winter.
      In spring they refoliated and gradually began to very slowly fill out and grow. It is now mid summer and they have about doubled in size (which is still only about a spheric 12 inches).
      This seems normal under the adage that perennials "sleep, then creep, then leap."
      We can probably expect substantial growth this next growing season.
      The aspect that excited me the very most was realizing that THIS species is the beautiful shrub that I have seen IN THE WILD GROWING LOCALLY in our area. I didn't realize what it was when I purchased it!
      It has such a beautiful, grounded, pleasing shape even without pruning. And of course it receives absolutely no care in the wild. So as long as I can create natural conditions on my property by not removing native flora and fauna, they should really require nothing extra for me.
      I got more than I bargained for with these in a wonderful way!
      Planted with rock garden tulips, Dutch Iris, lambs ears, Apache plume, Sage, Red hot poker, and also let the native globe mallow and aster self sow at will. The slope is slowly taking shape!

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      • Personal

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      Q & A

      Suggested Companion Plants:

      USDA Hardiness Planting Zones

      To determine if a plant is sufficiently cold hardy, the USDA created numbered zones indicating winter low temperatures; the lower the zone number the colder the winter.

      • If the coldest winter temperature expected in your area is -15°F (zone 5) then any plants rated zones 3-5 will survive the winter temperatures in your area.
      • If you live in very warm winter areas (zones 9-11) plants with zones 3-4 ratings are not recommended. The lack of freezing winter temperatures do not provide a time for winter dormancy (rest).

      Find Your Planting Zone:

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