Prairie Flame Sumac (Rhus copallina var. latifolia ‘Morton’)

Prairie Flame Sumac

Stunning fall color and gorgeous the rest of the growing season, the fine-textured Prairie Flame Sumac (Rhus copallina var. latifolia ‘Morton’) features attractive, glossy dark-green foliage with creamy white blooms in summer. These native plants are also known as Prairie Shining, Lance-Leaf Sumac, and Limestone Sumacs, among many others depending on where you are in the States. Prairie Flame develops into a compact, multi-stemmed shrub that is drought tolerant, and it does especially well in dry and rocky soil and grows best in full sun.

The pinnate and glossy tropical greenery this plant produces will fill your landscape fast with an exotic beauty! The big plumes of creamy white flowers resemble Tree Lilacs, but this sterile male clone won’t have the berries that the female varieties can have. These plants happily colonize an area and create thickets for wildlife and songbirds to take shelter in, but not in a way that will overtake your property by any means!

Remarkably cold-hardy and adaptable throughout USDA hardiness zones 4 through 9, Sumac tolerates heat and chill with ease and a wide range of soil and climate conditions. Deer usually leave Sumac alone but the flowers feed a host of native bees and butterflies and the dense multi-branched form is wonderful nesting and shelter for birds and mammals!

Planting and Application:

Quickly create habitat, shelter, privacy and screening with these fantastic and easy-to-grow native ornamental shrubs! Once you have a bank of these bushes along your property line or atop a steep hillside in need of soil stabilization, you’ll be running back for more as soon as the fall color knocks your socks off! Growing 5-7 feet in height and spreading politely to 6-8 feet wide, you can easily mow down the suckers to keep them in bounds.

Pest and disease free, the gorgeous fall foliage that cloaks itself as the reds, burgundies, oranges and glossy tones lights up both front and backyard gardens, beds, and borders. Easily train a single specimen as a native focal point, into a tree-form accent, or as a backdrop to your garden beds and have the neighbors jealous when fall rolls around!

Try planting your Prairie Flame Sumac in a Rock Garden for a stunning background plant!

  • Creamy White Plumes in Summer
  • Sterile Male Clone – No Messy Fruit
  • Glossy Pinnate Foliage
  • Brilliant Fiery Fall Color
  • Attracts Wildlife, Pollinators & Birds
  • Thickets, Hedges, Screening, Habitats & Water-Runoff/Erosion Control

Tips for Care:

Sumacs are deciduous native shrubs that are highly adaptable and have the best coloration in full sun and partial shade. Provide a well-drained area for best results, but Sumac are not picky on soil type. After all, these hardy native shrubs can be found rambling throughout rocky, limestone hills, and growing vigorously throughout grasslands in most of the United States and Mexico. Provide regular moisture while first establishing, but after, Sumac are fairly low water usage plants. Shape and prune Sumac in the late winter or very early spring before you see new growth.

  • Full Sun & Partial Shade/Sun
  • Moderate Moisture Needs Once Established
  • Any Well-Drained Soil
  • Prune Late Winter/Very Early Spring When Dormant
  • Low-Maintenance, Deer & Drought Tolerant

Fiery fall color and gorgeous tropical foliage, the Prairie Flame Sumac is your new favorite native landscaping shrub to light up the garden!

Prairie Flame Sumac (Rhus copallina var. latifolia ‘Morton’) Details

Common name Prairie Flame Sumac
Botanical name Rhus copallina var. latifolia 'Morton'
Plant type Deciduous
Hardiness zone 4-9
Growth rate Medium
Height 5 - 7 ft.
Width 6 - 8 ft.
Sunlight Full Sun, Partial Shade
Moisture Medium
Soil condition Widely Adaptable
Pollinator-friendly Yes
Pruning time Late Winter
Flower color Creamy White
Leaf color Glossy Pinnate