The Forager’s: Skunkbush Profile

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Rhus trilobata

Also, Known As:

  • Aromatic Sumac
  • Basketbush
  • Fragrant Sumac
  • Ill-scented Sumac
  • Scented Sumac
  • Skunkbush
  • Skunkbush Sumac
  • Squawbush

Skunkbush (scientific name Rhus trilobata) is a low-growing, bushy shrub belonging to the sumac genus. Also known as sour berry or three-leaf sumac, it grows up to a height of anything between 2 feet and 6 feet. This shrub is found growing in clumps in rocky terrains all through a different section of the eastern United States. The leaves of this shrub are trifoliate (hence the common name three-leaf sumac), which appear on an inch-long stalk. The leaflets of skunkbush appear directly from the stems (sessile) and are covered with very fine, short hairs (pubescence) when they are young. Compared to the lateral leaflets, the terminal leaflet is significantly large, measuring about 1 inch to 2 inches long and roughly two-thirds of its length in width. The leaflets are complete and narrow…

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