Rhus trilobata 'Autumn Amber'
low to very low
6 to 18 in.
6 to 8 ft.
native species occurs throughout western US
USDA zones 3-7
hardy to 9,000 ft.
Autumn amber sumac is a low, spreading deciduous shrub that makes a great groundcover for hot, dry sunny locations. Although it does flower, they are small and not very noticeable.
This best feature of this plant are it's glossy green leaves, which turn a stunning fiery red in fall. It works well as an underplanting for small deciduous trees, a plant to cascade over boulders or rock walls, or to stabilize soil on a slope.
Keep in mind it's large width when mature, so plant it in an area with enough space.
Autumn amber sumac has been planted in two locations at the Xeriscape Demonstration Garden. It has been an excellent addition to our garden, particularly because of its incredible fall red color.
It grows very rapidly when it gets lots of moisture, so don't water it too much to prevent it from outgrowing its space. The more water it gets, the more it will grow.
None generally required.