Fall leaves of Rhus aromatica ‘Gro-Low’ (Fragrant Sumac).
Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic
This vigorous, ground-hugging shrub makes an excellent ground cover, suckering and filling in areas quickly. Its glossy foliage turns brilliant reds, oranges, yellows and purples in fall. At first glance, it may look like poison ivy (Rhus radicans), but Fragrant Sumac is not poisonous. It occurs more commonly in the mountains of the Mid-Atlantic Region than in the Piedmont.
These trees, where three pairs
Feast on berries through the fall
Twitter today with a veritable harem,
It seems, of lady cardinals.
Front and center, on a branch with water view
Sits one lone male
Bright red, puffed with pride.
How did he get all these chicks
Where are the other guys?
At home I check the bird book.
The good cardinal,
It turns out
Is no scarlet polygamist.
The crested congregation
Sharing his high perch
Are not his wives at all
But a flock of Cedar Waxwings
On the move.
Next day, his flock fled,
The red-robed prelate rules his tree alone.
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Also known as Moneywort, this European native was introduced to the United States as an ornamental ground cover, and it is widely available in the nursery trade. Many states now list the plant as invasive as it can spread aggressively into sensitive wetlands. It is posing a threat to national parks in Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. It is listed as an invasive species in Arlington, Virginia.
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