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Tiger Eyes® Cutleaf Staghorn Sumac, scientifically known as Rhus typhina 'Bailtiger', is a noteworthy deciduous shrub due to its visually stunning attributes. Recognized for its unique chartreuse foliage that transitions into intense, fiery oranges and scarlets in the fall, this sumac variety adds vibrant colors to any landscape.
The plant typically grows to be about 6 feet in height, with a similar spread, forming an upright, roundish shape. It is characterized by its deeply cut, lacy leaves, which are similar in appearance to those of a fern. The branches have a velvety texture, resembling a stag's antlers in velvet, hence the name Staghorn.
The Tiger Eyes® Cutleaf Staghorn Sumac produces clusters of small, greenish-yellow flowers in summer. These are followed by fuzzy, red fruit clusters in late summer and early fall, providing a striking contrast with the brightly colored leaves.
This plant is known for its hardiness, tolerating a range of conditions including poor, dry soils and urban pollution. It prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. It is an excellent choice for erosion control on slopes and is often used in mass plantings, as a specimen plant, or even in large containers.
Please note that while the Staghorn Sumac has great ornamental value, all parts of the plant are poisonous if ingested. It's also a good idea to wear gloves when handling this plant, as some people may experience skin irritation. Despite these precautions, the Tiger Eyes® Cutleaf Staghorn Sumac remains a popular choice for its dramatic color and easy care.
The Tiger Eyes® Cutleaf Staghorn Sumac, due to its unique and vibrant aesthetics, has a variety of uses in landscaping.
- Specimen Plant: Its striking chartreuse foliage that turns fiery orange and scarlet in fall makes it an ideal specimen plant. It can be used as the focal point in a landscape design to draw the eye and add a pop of color.
- Mass Plantings: When planted en masse, the Tiger Eyes® Sumac creates a spectacular display of color and texture, particularly in the fall. They can be used to fill large areas in parks or large landscapes.
- Borders and Hedges: This Sumac variety can be planted in a row to form a vibrant, informal hedge or a border along a walkway or property line. It can also be used to create a visual barrier.
- Erosion Control: The Sumac is a great choice for hillside plantings and steep banks, where it can help prevent soil erosion due to its extensive root system.
- Wildlife Garden: The fuzzy red berries that appear in late summer and early fall can attract birds and other wildlife to the garden.
- Urban Landscaping: As the plant is resistant to pollution, it can be used in urban plantings along streets or in city parks.
- Containers: Smaller or younger Tiger Eyes® Sumac plants can be grown in large containers for patio or balcony gardens. This allows even those with limited space to enjoy the plant's dramatic seasonal color changes.
Remember, while the plant is generally hardy and low maintenance, it does best in full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. It's also crucial to note that all parts of the plant are poisonous if ingested, so it should be kept away from areas where children or pets might be tempted to taste it. Some people may also experience skin irritation from handling the plant, so gloves are recommended.
Planting and caring for the Tiger Eyes® Cutleaf Staghorn Sumac is relatively straightforward due to its hardy nature. Here are some guidelines:
- Site Selection: Choose a location with full sun to partial shade. The plant can tolerate a wide range of soil types but does best in well-drained soil.
- Spacing: When planting multiple sumacs, space them at least 6 feet apart to accommodate their mature size and to ensure good air circulation.
- Planting: Dig a hole that is twice as wide and just as deep as the root ball of the plant. Place the plant in the hole, ensuring that the top of the root ball is level with the surrounding soil. Backfill the hole, firm the soil gently around the plant, and water thoroughly.
- Watering: Water regularly during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Once established, the plant is quite drought-tolerant, but it will appreciate occasional watering during prolonged dry spells.
- Fertilizing: In general, sumacs are not heavy feeders, but they will benefit from a balanced, slow-release fertilizer applied in early spring.
- Pruning: Prune in late winter or early spring to maintain the desired shape and size, and to remove any dead or damaged wood. Sumacs respond well to pruning and can even be cut back to the ground if rejuvenation is needed.
- Mulching: Applying a layer of mulch around the base of the plant can help retain soil moisture and suppress weeds.
- Pests/Diseases: Staghorn Sumac is generally pest-resistant, but watch out for common problems like aphids and scale. It's also relatively disease-resistant, although it can be affected by leaf spot, rust, and cankers.
- Propagation: The plant can be propagated by seeds, cuttings, or root suckers, which can be removed and replanted.
When it comes to the Tiger Eyes® Cutleaf Staghorn Sumac, while it's a beautiful, hardy, and easy-to-care-for plant, it's crucial to remember that all parts of the plant are poisonous if ingested. Additionally, handling the plant may cause skin irritation for some individuals, so wearing gloves during planting and pruning is advisable. These aspects are significant to consider when deciding if this plant is suitable for your landscape, especially in areas where children or pets may interact with it.
- Height: 6'
- Width: 6'
- Hardiness Zone: 4-8
- Heat Zone: 8
- Exposure: Full Sun
- Habit: Upright, Rounded
- Foliage: Yellow
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