Staghorn sumac is a wonderful plant and there is lots of it in Raymore Park. What’s so wonderful?
For starters, it’s native and seems to be resistant to pests.
Second, it’s attractive with a kind of tropical look to it in the summer and a vivid red colouring in the fall. Its red flowers stay on the plant all winter.
Third, it benefits wildlife by encroaching, in spite of human efforts to control it. Mowers have to give encroaching sumac an ever-wider berth as sumac leans out as it grows, allowing the roots to put out new shoots. Its deep shade starves less worthy plants of sunshine.
Fourth, it supports a variety of native wildlife from the insects that feed on its nectar to birds feeding on the flowers that stay throughout the winter. Deer along with other mammals eat the foliage and branches.