• South Window

    Arches

    National Park Utah

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Skunkbush (Squawbush; Sumac; Skunkbrush Sumac)

Rhus aromatica

Rhus aromatica

Family: Anacardiaceae – Cashew Family

Shrubs; 1.7' to 8.3' (0.5 to 2.5 m) tall

Leaves: alternate; simple (Rhus aromatica var. simplicifolia), leaves 0.08” to 0.12” (2 to 3 mm) long; or compound with 3 leaflets (Rhus aromatica var. trilobata); leaflets 0.32” to 3.72” (0.8 to 9.3 cm) long, 0.24” to 2.8” (0.6 to 7 cm) wide; leaves 0.08” to 0.12” (2 to 3 mm) long

Flowers: 5 yellowish petals, developing prior to the leaves; 5 sepals; 5 stamens; 3 styles. Polygamous or dioecious. Flowers in compact clusters; 0.08” to 0.12” (2 to 3 mm) long

Pollinators: bees; not self-fertile

Fruits: red or red-orange drupe

Blooms in Arches National Park: March, April, May

Habitat in Arches National Park: dry areas in desert shrub and pinyon-juniper communities

Location seen: park road near visitor center, park road mile 0 to 2.5, Windows, Delicate Arch trail, Fiery Furnace, Tower Arch

Other: The genus name, “Rhus”, is the Greek name for sumac and the species name, “aromatica”, means “aromatic or strong smelling” which refers to the odor of the crushed leaves.

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