Rhus are deciduous or evergreen trees and shrubs that stand out as fine specimens in coastal areas, cottage gardens, flower beds and borders, and low-maintenance planting schemes. Rhus also works well planted with bold foliage plants as a planting companion. I have seen it surrounded by Tetrapanax papyrifer and Brugmansia to create an outstanding effect.
What the specialists say
"Wisley Plant Centre sells a range of seven different Rhus, but availability is sporadic. In fact, last year we only managed to stock two of them — R.× pulvinata ‘Red Autumn Lace’ (AGM) and R. typhina dissecta ‘Tiger Eyes’. Both are shorter cultivars than the straight species and tend to be showy on arrival at the centre. ‘Tiger Eyes’ was new in 2004 and has fabulous bright golden foliage. Both are ideal for those areas with difficult soil and are great to brighten up dull corners, especially with their autumn foliage.
"I prefer R. glabra and its variety of ‘Laciniata’. Both of these have lovely autumn colour. They also
have the advantage of not being as invasive as R. typhina. They love to be in a sunny position with a well-drained soil."
Species & varietiesLarge erect green clusters of male flowers and smaller female clusters are borne on separate plants. The dense conical clusters of crimson hairy fruits are decorative in the later stages of the season. Sometimes these form small thickets of suckering stems.