Description & Overview

A Johnson’s Nursery origination; J.N. Plant Selections introduction, Lacette Fragrant Sumac was selected for its dense, mounded habit and refined textured foliage. This shrub lends an air of sophistication to sites where few other plants will grow. The aromatic leaves are glossy green during summer, turning brilliant shades of red in fall. It’s an excellent choice where low maintenance, durability, and ornamental value are desired!

Core Characteristics

Category: Shrub

Wisconsin Native: Yes

USDA Hardiness Zone: to zone 3

Mature Height: 3-4.5 feet

Mature Spread: 6-7 feet

Growth Rate: Moderate

Growth Form: Mounded Shrub

Light Requirements: Full Sun

Site Requirements: Tolerant of many sites except those with poor drainage

Flower: Monoecious, yellow female flowers, male catkins

Bloom Period: April

Foliage: Glossy green, fine

Fall Color: Red, many shades

Urban Approved: No

Fruit Notes: Small, red pubescent berry

Suggested Uses

Lacette Fragrant Sumac is ideal for creating natural, informal hedges, offering both privacy and aesthetic appeal with its dense, fine-textured foliage that turns vibrant red in the fall. It’s particularly effective in challenging landscapes such as sloped areas, where its erosion control capabilities can be highly beneficial, and in urban environments, where it can thrive despite harsh conditions like pollution and limited space.

Its compact size and resilience make it a perfect candidate for small garden spaces, adding structure and year-round interest without overwhelming the area. Lacette Fragrant Sumac’s adaptability to a range of soil types, including those that are moist yet well-drained, allows it to be incorporated into rain gardens, where it can contribute to sustainable landscaping practices. Additionally, its attractiveness to wildlife such as birds and butterflies makes it a valuable addition to native and pollinator gardens, enhancing biodiversity.

Given its numerous attributes, the “Lacette” Fragrant Sumac can also be utilized in public spaces such as parks, streetscapes, parking lots, and embankments where its low maintenance and aesthetic qualities are highly desirable. This shrub’s ability to adapt to various landscape settings, along with its ornamental and ecological value, adds to its suitability for a wide array of landscaping projects, from residential gardens to larger ecological restoration efforts.

Download Lacette™ Fragrant Sumac Plant Slick

A Johnson's Nursery origination; J.N. Plant Selections introduction, Lacette Fragrant Sumac was selected for its dense, mounded habit and refined text…
A Johnson's Nursery origination; J.N. Plant Selections introduction, Lacette Fragrant Sumac was selected for its dense, mounded habit and refined text…
A Johnson's Nursery origination; J.N. Plant Selections introduction, Lacette Fragrant Sumac was selected for its dense, mounded habit and refined text…

Wildlife Value

The fuzzy drupes are loved by birds during autumn and winter. In summer, birds will also visit the plant to feed on insects found on the leaves and buds. Cardinals, Red-Eyed Vireos, and Grosbeaks are often found where Lacette Fragrant Sumac is grown.

Native bees and butterflies value Lacette Fragrant Sumac. The early spring flowers that emerge before the leaves are an excellent nectar source, and many insects use other plant parts for nest construction. The shrub also serves as a larval host to the Banded Hairstreak butterfly.

Maintenance Tips

The free-branching habit of Lacette Fragrant Sumac minimizes the need for pruning. If you desire a more tidy appearance, shear the shrub immediately after flowering in spring to allow next year’s flower buds to set. Pruning during the dormant season will remove these flowers and their wildlife value for the coming year.

A Johnson's Nursery origination; J.N. Plant Selections introduction, Lacette Fragrant Sumac was selected for its dense, mounded habit and refined text…
A Johnson's Nursery origination; J.N. Plant Selections introduction, Lacette Fragrant Sumac was selected for its dense, mounded habit and refined text…

Pests/Problems

It has no major insect or disease issues. While Gro-Low Sumac is usually infested with Eriophyid mites by midsummer, creating the characteristic nipple gall on the foliage, Lacette Fragrant Sumac is highly resistant to the insect. No need to worry about unsightly red bumps on the fine foliage of this plant!

If stressed, the shrub may be susceptible to leaf spot and rust diseases, as well as aphids, scale insects. These issues will usually resolve themselves, but if infestations are heavy you may use an insecticidal soap to spot-treat existing pests.

Lacette Fragrant Sumac is deer and rabbit resistant.

Leaf Lore

Lacette is an introduction from Mike Yanny, selected for its dense, mounded habit and refined texture. Like its parent Fragrant Sumac (Rhus aromatica), this shrub is tolerant of the toughest sites and will perform well as long as soils are not soggy. In spring, minute but profuse flowers emerge across the shrub followed by glossy green leaves. When crushed, the leaves have a fresh fragrance that also deters deer, rabbit, and other animal browsing. While the leaves may resemble that of poison ivy, Lacette is entirely non-toxic.

Companion Plants

When planted in tough, rocky, dry sites, Lacette Fragrant Sumac can be paired with Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grass to add a vertical accent. Below and around, tough Coralbell varieties like Palace Purple Coralbells and Caramel Coralbells can be used for added color. Take care not to site any trees that will shade this shrub, as it will lose its fine texture and is intolerant of shade.

A Johnson's Nursery origination; J.N. Plant Selections introduction, Lacette Fragrant Sumac was selected for its dense, mounded habit and refined text…
JNI_Logo-ColorCMYK-hex badge-250px

Written by Johnson's Nursery