Littleleaf sumac

Rhus microphylla

Anacardiaceae (Sumac family)


Littleleaf sumac is a deciduous shrub that forms clumps of dense branches that grow to be anywhere from 3 to 10 feet tall. Its dark, stiff, branches are smooth but become rough with age.

The small leaves are dull green, odd-compounded, and have winged rachis. The flowers bloom before the leaves and are whitish in color, clustered, and, like the leaves, are small. Its fruit is tightly clustered, slightly hairy, round, and reddish-orange in color.

Littleleaf sumac's fruit is eaten by birds and rodents and the leaves are occasionally browsed by deer. It serves little purpose for livestock.


Littleleaf sumac grows in many soil types but prefers rocky or gravelly soils and open alkali flats.