Invasive Species Compendium

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Datasheet

Rhus typhina
(staghorn sumac)

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Datasheet

Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 19 November 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Rhus typhina
  • Preferred Common Name
  • staghorn sumac
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • R. typhina thrives in a variety of habitats, including disturbed sites, such as old field margins, roadsides, and fence rows. It also grows singly or in large colonies on the edge of wooded areas or more commonly...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Rhus typhina, general view showing foliage and female fruiting body on a ca. 5 m tree. Wallingford, Oxfordshire (CABI HQ). 21st October 2010.
TitleGeneral view of tree
CaptionRhus typhina, general view showing foliage and female fruiting body on a ca. 5 m tree. Wallingford, Oxfordshire (CABI HQ). 21st October 2010.
Copyright©A.R. Pittaway
Rhus typhina, general view showing foliage and female fruiting body on a ca. 5 m tree. Wallingford, Oxfordshire (CABI HQ). 21st October 2010.
General view of treeRhus typhina, general view showing foliage and female fruiting body on a ca. 5 m tree. Wallingford, Oxfordshire (CABI HQ). 21st October 2010.©A.R. Pittaway
Rhus typhina, foliage and female fruiting body. Wallingford, Oxfordshire (CABI HQ). 21st October 2010.
TitleFoliage and female fruiting body
CaptionRhus typhina, foliage and female fruiting body. Wallingford, Oxfordshire (CABI HQ). 21st October 2010.
Copyright©A.R. Pittaway
Rhus typhina, foliage and female fruiting body. Wallingford, Oxfordshire (CABI HQ). 21st October 2010.
Foliage and female fruiting bodyRhus typhina, foliage and female fruiting body. Wallingford, Oxfordshire (CABI HQ). 21st October 2010.©A.R. Pittaway
Rhus typhina, foliage and female fruiting body. Wallingford, Oxfordshire (CABI HQ). 21st October 2010.
TitleFoliage and female fruiting body
CaptionRhus typhina, foliage and female fruiting body. Wallingford, Oxfordshire (CABI HQ). 21st October 2010.
Copyright©A.R. Pittaway
Rhus typhina, foliage and female fruiting body. Wallingford, Oxfordshire (CABI HQ). 21st October 2010.
Foliage and female fruiting bodyRhus typhina, foliage and female fruiting body. Wallingford, Oxfordshire (CABI HQ). 21st October 2010.©A.R. Pittaway
Rhus typhina, close-up of a female fruiting body. Wallingford, Oxfordshire (CABI HQ). 21st October 2010.
TitleFemale fruiting body
CaptionRhus typhina, close-up of a female fruiting body. Wallingford, Oxfordshire (CABI HQ). 21st October 2010.
Copyright©A.R. Pittaway
Rhus typhina, close-up of a female fruiting body. Wallingford, Oxfordshire (CABI HQ). 21st October 2010.
Female fruiting bodyRhus typhina, close-up of a female fruiting body. Wallingford, Oxfordshire (CABI HQ). 21st October 2010.©A.R. Pittaway
R. typhina community on a relatively fertile slope in Beijing, China.
TitleRhus typhina community
CaptionR. typhina community on a relatively fertile slope in Beijing, China.
CopyrightJiang Gaoming
R. typhina community on a relatively fertile slope in Beijing, China.
Rhus typhina communityR. typhina community on a relatively fertile slope in Beijing, China.Jiang Gaoming
R. typhina community at rocky slope in Beijing, China.
TitleRhus typhina community
CaptionR. typhina community at rocky slope in Beijing, China.
CopyrightJiang Gaoming
R. typhina community at rocky slope in Beijing, China.
Rhus typhina communityR. typhina community at rocky slope in Beijing, China.Jiang Gaoming
R. typhina covering the native Vitex negundo var. heterophylla in Beijing, China.
TitleInvasive habit
CaptionR. typhina covering the native Vitex negundo var. heterophylla in Beijing, China.
CopyrightJiang Gaoming
R. typhina covering the native Vitex negundo var. heterophylla in Beijing, China.
Invasive habitR. typhina covering the native Vitex negundo var. heterophylla in Beijing, China.Jiang Gaoming
R. typhina overtaking native Pinus tabulaeformis trees along the Jingcheng Highway, Beijing, China.
TitleInvasive habit
CaptionR. typhina overtaking native Pinus tabulaeformis trees along the Jingcheng Highway, Beijing, China.
CopyrightJiang Gaoming
R. typhina overtaking native Pinus tabulaeformis trees along the Jingcheng Highway, Beijing, China.
Invasive habitR. typhina overtaking native Pinus tabulaeformis trees along the Jingcheng Highway, Beijing, China.Jiang Gaoming
Low species diversity beneath a R. typhina overstory.
TitleImpact
CaptionLow species diversity beneath a R. typhina overstory.
CopyrightJiang Gaoming
Low species diversity beneath a R. typhina overstory.
ImpactLow species diversity beneath a R. typhina overstory.Jiang Gaoming

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Rhus typhina L., 1756

Preferred Common Name

  • staghorn sumac

Other Scientific Names

  • Datisca hirta L., 1753
  • Rhus hirta (L.) Sudw., 1892

International Common Names

  • English: vinegarplant
  • Spanish: zumaque de Virginia
  • French: sumac de Virginie

Local Common Names

  • Germany: Essigbaum; Kolben- Sumach
  • Italy: sommacco americano
  • Netherlands: azijnboom
  • USA: scarlet sumac; upland sumac; velvet sumac

EPPO code

  • RHUTY (Rhus typhina)

Summary of Invasiveness

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R. typhina thrives in a variety of habitats, including disturbed sites, such as old field margins, roadsides, and fence rows. It also grows singly or in large colonies on the edge of wooded areas or more commonly on dry rocky soil along ditch banks and abandoned fields (Doust and Doust, 1988). R. typhina sprouts easily and grows rapidly, which can eliminate or reduce the abundance of many other species that cannot persist in the shade it creates. For this reason it has been identified as a weed or invasive in the USA (Uva et al., 1997; USDA-NRCS, 2009) and in the Czech Republic (Mollerova, 2005).

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Sapindales
  •                         Family: Anacardiaceae
  •                             Genus: Rhus
  •                                 Species: Rhus typhina

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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The genus Rhus consists of ca. 200 to 250 species (Wannan and Quinn, 1991). In North America, the genus Rhus is divided into two subgenera: the poisonous and the non-poisonous. The poisonous group contains poison oak (Rhus toxicodendron), Western poison oak (Rhus diversiloba), poison ivy (Rhus radicans), and poison sumac (Rhus vernix) [Toxicodendron vernix]; all of which contain a virulent, but selective contact poison called urushiol and produce poisonous white berries. Among the non-poisonous are the fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica), dwarf or winged sumac (Rhus copallina), smooth sumac (Rhus glabra), lemonade bush (Rhus integrifolia), southweatern sumac (Rhus microphylla), sugar bush (Rhus ovata), squaw berry (Rhus trilobata), and the staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina); all of which contain red berries when ripe (and are sometimes inaccurately and collectively called red sumac). In China, the genus Rhus only has six other species, which are all very morphologically different from R. typhina.

R. typhina was named Datisca hirta, but this was rejected under Vienna ICBN Art. 56 & App.V. (Reveal, 1995; Nicolson, 2000). Although its synonym, Rhus hirta was proposed, R. typhina is still the most frequently used scientific name in the literature.

Description

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R. typhina is a large, deciduous shrub to small tree, native to Canada and the USA, which can attain a height of 30-35 feet. Its root systems tend to be shallow and wide-spreading. It has pinnate leaves that can grow 12 to 24 inches long and are composed of many paired 2- to 5-inch-long leaflets, with a single terminal leaflet. The leaflets are dark-green and smooth above, and pale beneath, except along the midrib, turning bright colours before falling off in the autumn. The appearance of its branched stems, which are covered with soft hairs, resembles that of deer antlers. Compact clusters of greenish-yellow flowers bloom from June to July. Fruit is produced on plants 3 to 4 years old, maturing from August to September. The fruiting head is a compact cluster of round, red, hairy fruits called drupes. Each drupe measures ¼ inch in diameter and contains one seed. Each cluster of drupes may contain 100 to 700 seeds. There are about 60,000 seeds per pound. Because most populations of R. typhina are dioecious, with male and female flowers on separate plants, only the female plants produce seeds. Occasionally, plants are found which have both male and female flowers. The germination of its seeds is enhanced by their passage through the digestive system of rabbits, ring-necked pheasants, and quail. The presence of fire also encourages increased germination (USDA-NRCS, 2009).

The main reproduction manner of R. typhina is vegetative rather than sexual, for its seeds have a low germination rate with a water-impermeable endocarp (Norton, 1985; Baskin et al., 2000). The young shoots or ramets, which arise from rhizomes at the base of the plant, have thin dark-brown bark and are densely hairy, growing rapidly with the ability to attain 3 feet in 1 year. The spread rate of R. typhina is also very high. In the infertile mountainous area in Beijing, China, it can spread more than 6 m in 3 years (Wang et al., 2008).

Plant Type

Top of page Broadleaved
Perennial
Seed propagated
Shrub
Tree
Vegetatively propagated
Woody

Distribution

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R. typhina is a native of eastern USA and north Canada, with a current range extending north to Quebec, south to Georgia, and as far west as Iowa (USDA-NRCS, 2009). As an ornamental, it has been deliberately introduced to many countries in Europe and Asia, such as Germany (Boyle et al., 2008), Switzerland (Lenzin et al., 2004), Austria (Essl, 2008), the Czech Republic (Mollerova, 2005), Korea (Kim and Chung, 1995) and China (Pan and You, 1994).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Asia

ChinaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-BeijingWidespreadIntroduced1959 Invasive Wang et al., 2008
-HebeiWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Zhang et al., 2004
-HeilongjiangPresentIntroduced Not invasive Wang, 1992
-JilinPresentIntroduced Not invasive Zhao et al., 1994
-Nei MengguPresentIntroduced1964 Not invasive Zhang and Liu, 1994
-NingxiaPresentIntroduced Not invasive Zhao, 2006
-ShaanxiPresentIntroducedKang et al., 2005
-ShandongWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Li et al., 2004
-ShanxiPresentIntroduced Not invasive Wei and Liu, 2001
-SichuanPresentIntroduced Not invasive Wang, 2001
-TianjinPresentIntroduced1995Zhang and Wang, 1997
-XinjiangPresentIntroduced1975 Not invasive Zhu, 1982
Korea, Republic ofPresentIntroducedKim and Chung, 1995

North America

CanadaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-QuebecPresentUSDA-NRCS, 2009
USAPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-AlabamaLocalisedNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2009
-ConnecticutWidespreadNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2009
-DelawareLocalisedNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2009
-GeorgiaLocalisedNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2009
-IllinoisWidespreadNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2009
-IndianaWidespreadNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2009
-IowaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2009
-KentuckyWidespreadNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2009
-MaineWidespreadNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2009
-MassachusettsWidespreadNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2009
-MichiganWidespreadNative Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2009
-MinnesotaWidespreadNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2009
-MississippiLocalisedNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2009
-MissouriLocalisedNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2009
-MontanaLocalisedNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2009
-New HampshireWidespreadNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2009
-New JerseyWidespreadNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2009
-New YorkWidespreadNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2009
-North CarolinaAbsent, intercepted onlyNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2009
-OhioWidespreadNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2009
-PennsylvaniaWidespreadNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2009
-Rhode IslandWidespreadNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2009
-South CarolinaLocalisedNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2009
-TennesseeWidespreadNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2009
-UtahLocalisedNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2009
-VermontWidespreadNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2009
-VirginiaWidespreadNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2009
-WashingtonWidespreadNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2009
-WisconsinWidespreadNative Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2009
-WyomingWidespreadNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2009

Europe

AustriaPresentIntroducedEssl, 2008
Czech RepublicWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Möllerová, 2005
GermanyWidespreadIntroducedBoyle et al., 2008
HungaryPresentIntroducedPan and You, 1994
SwitzerlandPresentIntroduced Not invasive Lenzin et al., 2004

History of Introduction and Spread

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R. typhina has been cultivated in Europe for centuries as an ornamental, prized for its vivid autumn foliage and distinctive fruit. In the Czech Republic, it has been listed as a main invasive woody species (Mollerova, 2005). In 1959, it was introduced to China from Hungary (Pan and You, 1994). Used for rehabilitation of degraded lands and as an ornamental, it has been spreading all over the Yellow River basin with intentional introduction. It is now considered an invasive species in some provinces in China (Wang et al., 2008).

Introductions

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Introduced toIntroduced fromYearReasonIntroduced byEstablished in wild throughReferencesNotes
Natural reproductionContinuous restocking
China Hungary 1959 Ornamental purposes (pathway cause)Pan and You (1994) deliberate introduction

Risk of Introduction

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At a local level in its native range, the seeds of R. typhina may disperse via birds (Foster and Gross, 1999; USDA-NRCS, 2009). The long distance spreading is mainly dependent on the deliberate introduction for ornamental and rehabilitation purposes. For this reason, the introduction of R. typhina could be easily controlled.

Habitat

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R. typhina generally prefers fertile, upland sites, but tolerates a wide variety of conditions. It is tolerant of slightly acid soil conditions and textures ranging from coarse to fine. Typical growing sites include open fields and roadsides, fence rows, railroad rights-of-way, and burned areas. It also thrives in polluted city air, and grows in such inhospitable sites as cracks in the pavement. R. typhina is not highly shade-tolerant and is considered to be an early successional species (USDA-NRCS, 2009).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
 
Terrestrial – ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed forests, plantations and orchards Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Principal habitat Natural
Disturbed areas Principal habitat Productive/non-natural
Rail / roadsides Principal habitat Natural
Rail / roadsides Principal habitat Productive/non-natural
Urban / peri-urban areas Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Urban / peri-urban areas Secondary/tolerated habitat Productive/non-natural
Buildings Present, no further details
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Present, no further details
Riverbanks Present, no further details
Rocky areas / lava flows Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Rocky areas / lava flows Secondary/tolerated habitat Productive/non-natural
Scrub / shrublands Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Scrub / shrublands Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Scrub / shrublands Secondary/tolerated habitat Productive/non-natural
Arid regions Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Arid regions Secondary/tolerated habitat Productive/non-natural
Littoral
Coastal areas Present, no further details
Coastal dunes Present, no further details

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

Chromosome number (2n) = 30 (Missouri Botanical Garden, 2010). See Coombes (1994) for further information on the genetics of this species. This paper describes the botanical characteristics, nomenclature and origins of R. typhina.

Reproductive Biology

R. typhina can reproduce sexually by producing seeds or asexually by rhizomatous growth. Its seed germination rate is less than 20% due to a water-impermeable endocarp. Treatment with gibberellic acid (GA) (0-1000 mg/l) or cold stratification (0-30 days at 4°C) can improve germination (Norton, 1985). Under natural conditions, the germination of its seeds can be enhanced by passage through the digestive system of rabbits, ring-necked pheasants and quail, or encouraged by the presence of fire (Izhaki et al., 1992; USDA-NRCS, 2009). In China, reproduction is mainly via rhizomes (horizontal underground stems). With the spreading of rhizomes, an area can become populated by many related plants, with overlapping crowns that give the appearance of a dense colony, with an extensive rounded or flat top. As colonies enlarge, older plants tend to be located in the centre and younger plants emerge around the ever-expanding perimeter.

Physiology

R. typhina has a low nitrogen and soluble sugar content and high tannin content (Li et al., 2007). This high antifeedant activity could distinctly inhibit the survival and fecundity of many insects, especially spider mites [Tetranychidae].

R. typhina has a distinctive biomass allocation and growth strategy. The stem of the clonal ramet and the front part of the lateral root belong to the dominant and subdominant growth and the storage centre of photosynthetic products (Zhang et al., 2005, 2008). The front part of the lateral root diameter is twice as large as the back. This asymmetry of diameter of the clonal ramet root becomes more significant with increasing age and has little correlation to topography (Zhang et al., 2004). Such pattern of biomass enables R. typhina to reproduce in a short time. As for newly emerged clonal ramets, the growth rate of the lateral branch and leaf is much faster than the height, which facilitates clonal ramets of R. typhina to form a dominant synusium (Zhang et al., 2004). The clonal integration of R. typhina allow its ramets to be better adapted to weak light beneath its overstorey than other species such as Vitex negundo var. heterophylla, which further enhances its competition ability in the spreading area (Zhang et al., 2007).

Environmental Requirements

R. typhina prefers a warm temperate climate, characterized by summer precipitation or a fully humid climate. In North America, its current range extends north to Quebec and south to Georgia, where mean annual temperature ranges from 4 to 18°C and the maximum temperature in the hottest month is from 22 to 34ºC. In China, its distribution area covers various climate types from a temperate continental arid to semi-arid climate, to a subtropical ocean climate, with an annual rainfall range from 300 to 1200 mm.

R. typhina has a low fertility requirement, that enables it to endure diverse soil types from coarse to fine. It prefers the medium textured soils, but is not adapted to fine textured soils. The pH value range it can endure varies from 4.5 to 7.2 (USDA-NRCS, 2009).

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
BS - Steppe climate Tolerated > 430mm and < 860mm annual precipitation
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Preferred Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Absolute minimum temperature (ºC) -36 -33
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 4 18
Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC) 22 34
Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC) -18 0

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Dry season duration90number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall
Mean annual rainfall3001200mm; lower/upper limits

Rainfall Regime

Top of page Summer
Uniform

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free

Soil reaction

  • acid
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • light
  • medium

Special soil tolerances

  • infertile
  • shallow

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Botryosphaeria ribis Pathogen to species Juhasova et al., 2005
Lygocoris communis Herbivore Adults to species Boivin and Stewart, 1982
Neonectria ditissima Pathogen
Retithrips syriacus Predator
Schizophyllum commune Pathogen
Xyleborinus saxesenii Predator

Notes on Natural Enemies

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R. typhina has a wide resistance to insects and diseases. R. typhina has a high antifeedant activity against spider mites [Tetranychidae] and may distinctly inhibit their survival and fecundity (Li et al., 2007). Lygocoris communis have been found on R. typhina (Boivin and Stewart, 1982). The fungus, Botryosphaeria ribis may cause damage to R. typhina (Juhasova et al., 2005).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Natural dispersal of R. typhina is usually aided by birds or small animals such as ring-necked pheasants, rabbits, and quail, which may eat its seeds in winter. Passage through the digestive system of such organisms can encourage the germination of R. typhina seeds. The main dispersal manner, especially long distance, is the deliberate introduction as an ornamental or when used for soil protection and regeneration. In China, R. typhina has been dispersed all over the Yellow River basin since its initial introduction in 1959 (Pan and You, 1994). For example, it has been distributed to almost every scenic reserve and most nature reserves in Beijing (Wang et al., 2008).

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Aid Yes Yes
Botanical gardens and zoos Yes Yes
Digestion and excretion Yes
Forestry Yes Yes
Habitat restoration and improvement Yes Yes
Horticulture Yes Yes
Intentional release Yes Yes
Landscape improvement Yes Yes
Nursery trade Yes Yes
Ornamental purposes Yes Yes
Self-propelled Yes

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Cultural/amenity Negative
Economic/livelihood Positive and negative
Environment (generally) Positive and negative
Human health Negative

Environmental Impact

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R. typhina can tolerate various habitats ranging from fine to coarse soil. Once established, stands will spread from the root sprouts. The lateral root system is extensive and spreads outwards 1 metre or more a year. This sprouting is encouraged by cutting or fire injury (Izhaki et al., 1992). For this reason, R. typhina can prevent water and soil erosion effectively on barren or rocky areas. In the degraded, hilly Taihang Mountains, China, the physical and chemical soil properties improved with the development of an R. typhina community. The soil fertility was increased, and the degraded ecological environment was significantly improved with the increase of R. typhina plantation age, which indicated its positive role in soil protection and regeneration (Fan et al., 2008). Due to the high water content and low calorific value of its leaf and stem, especially the high decomposition rate of its litters, R. typhina is also recommended as a good choice to build fire-resistant tree belts (Bo et al., 2007).

With the ability to produce a dense monoculture, R. typhina can eliminate or reduce the abundance of many other species that cannot persist in the shade it creates. In the Taihang Mountains, the species diversity descended with the increase of the R. typhina plantation (Fan et al., 2008). In Beijing Municipality, China the R. typhina community was found to have a significantly lower species diversity than the nearby native Vitex negundo var. heterophylla community in both sterile and fertile habitats (Wang et al., 2008). Another case in point was the R. typhina -Cotinus coggygria mixed forest planted in 1993 in Jinan, Shandong province, China where R. typhina had almost displaced C. coggygria through competition (Li et al., 2004).

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Invasive in its native range
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Is a habitat generalist
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Long lived
  • Fast growing
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
  • Reproduces asexually
Impact outcomes
  • Damaged ecosystem services
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Modification of hydrology
  • Modification of successional patterns
  • Monoculture formation
  • Negatively impacts agriculture
  • Negatively impacts human health
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Soil accretion
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
  • Damages animal/plant products
Impact mechanisms
  • Causes allergic responses
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition - shading
  • Competition - smothering
  • Filtration
  • Induces hypersensitivity
  • Rapid growth
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
  • Difficult/costly to control

Uses

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Economic Value

R. typhina can be used as a good honey plant (Liu, 2002). The small fruit of R. typhina are filled with a sour juice, rich in malic acid and tannin, which can be used to brew staghorn sumac wine, when the fruit is just turning red (Krause, 1982). Its high tannin content makes it an important source of tannin extract (Moerman, 1998). Its root, inner bark and central pith of the stem can also be used to produce dye (Moerman, 1998).

Medicinal Value

R. typhina may have medicinal value. For example, it is said that its bark can be used in the treatment of diarrhoea, fevers, piles, general debility, uterine prolapse etc. (Weiner, 1980; Foster and Duke, 1990). Other plant parts also have some medicinal value. It is often employed medicinally by several native North American Indian tribes who value it especially for its astringent qualities (Moerman, 1998). However, it is rarely used in modern herbal medicine.

Uses List

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Environmental

  • Amenity
  • Erosion control or dune stabilization
  • Firebreak
  • Landscape improvement
  • Revegetation
  • Shade and shelter
  • Soil conservation
  • Soil improvement

Fuels

  • Fuelwood

General

  • Botanical garden/zoo

Human food and beverage

  • Honey/honey flora

Materials

  • Oils

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Source of medicine/pharmaceutical
  • Traditional/folklore

Wood Products

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Woodware

  • Tool handles

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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Rhus copallina (dwarf sumac) is similar in appearance to R. typhina, except its stems have raised dots and its leaflets have smooth edges. Rhus glabra (smooth sumac) can be distinguished from staghorn sumac by the lack of hairs on its stems and petioles. Naturally occurring crosses between staghorn and smooth sumac result in hybrid offspring with characteristics intermediate between those of both parents. Characteristics of Toxicodendron vernix (poison sumac), which causes dermatitis in sensitive individuals, distinguishing it from R. typhina are white hairless fruit, hairless stems, and smooth-edged leaves. Leaves of Ailanthus altissima (tree-of-heaven) are also compound, but their leaflets have one to two teeth located near the base compared to R. typhina leaflets that have numerous teeth all around the edge.

Prevention and Control

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Mechanical Control

Small populations can be kept under control by conducting prescribed burns every 3 to 4 years. Spring burns are conducted to stimulate herbaceous vegetation. Double-cutting at ground level (once in July and once in August) is another control strategy. Cutting may need to be repeated for several consecutive years to effectively control dense populations. Sumac will re-sprout after each cutting, but dense vegetation may prevent sumac from receiving enough sunlight, causing the leaves to turn yellow and eventually die.

Chemical Control

During July and August a 20% concentration of glyphosate can be applied to freshly cut stumps. Oil-based triclopyr can be applied as directed on the label to the entire circumference of each stem of the clone; no cutting is carried out. Foliar application of water-based triclopyr as directed on the label or 1-2% solution of glyphosate can be applied in areas with little or no native vegetation. Another control measure is 41% amiton at 0.3 ml/m2 during July and August (Wu et al., 2007).

References

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Baskin JM; Baskin CC; Li XJ, 2000. Taxonomy, anatomy and evolution of physical dormancy in seeds. Plant Species Biology, 15:139-152.

Bo YS; Han EX; Zhang XP; Han G, 2007. Discussion on the techniques of planting fire-resistant tree belt of Rhus typhina. Forest Fire Prevention, 3:42-43.

Boivin G; Stewart RK, 1982. The phenology and biological behaviour of five species of phytophagous mirids (Hemiptera: Miridae) in an apple orchard of south-western Quebec. (Phenologie et comportement biologique de cinq especes de mirides phytophages (Hemiptera: Miridae) dans une pommeraie du sud-ouest du Quebec.) Annals of the Entomological Society of Quebec, 27(3):148-157.

Boyle H; Braun U; Jage H; Kummer V; Zimmermann H, 2008. Podosphaera cf. pruinosa on Rhus hirta in Germany. Schlechtendalia, 17:33-38.

Coombes AJ, 1994. Cut-leaved sumacs. New Plantsman, 1(2):107-113.

Doust JL; Doust LL, 1988. Modules of production and reproduction in a dioecious clonal shrub, Rhus typhina. Ecology, 69(3):741-750.

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Links to Websites

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WebsiteURLComment
GISD/IASPMR: Invasive Alien Species Pathway Management Resource and DAISIE European Invasive Alien Species Gatewayhttps://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.m93f6Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.
Global register of Introduced and Invasive species (GRIIS)http://griis.org/Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.
Plants for a future, edible, medicinal and useful plants for a healthier worldhttp://www.pfaf.org/database
USDA-PLANTShttp://plants.usda.gov

Contributors

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15/07/09 Original text by:

Gao Ming Jiang, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China

Guangmei Wang, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

Jingcheng Yang, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Biosciences, China

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