Smooth Sumac is primarily grown for its highly ornamental fruit. The scarlet fruits are carried on showy plumes displayed in abundance from early fall to late winter. It has spikes of green flowers rising above the foliage from mid to late summer. It has green deciduous foliage. The large narrow pinnately compound leaves turn an outstanding scarlet in the fall.
Smooth Sumac is an open multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.
Smooth Sumac will grow to be about 12 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 12 feet. It tends to be a little leggy, with a typical clearance of 4 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years.
This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions, but will not tolerate any standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for xeriscaping or the moisture-conserving landscape. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This species is native to parts of North America.