Rhus aromatica is a shrub to 2 m, often dioecious, densely colonial from root sprouts, twigs hairy when young, fragrant when bruised.
Leaves alternate, 3-parted, leaflets, toothed, young leaves softly hairy. Autumn color red to orange.
Flowers pale yellow petals 5, about 0.3 cm long in erect clusters of catkins about 2 cm long, blooms March-April, flower buds form in late summer, pale greenish, to about 0.5 cm long, elliptic, covered by tightly appressed scales (Yatskievych 2006).
Fruit red, fleshy, hairy, 0.5-0.7 cm wide, ripening Aug., persistent into winter, fruit eaten by numerous birds.
Wetland status: NL.
Frequency in NYC: Infrequent.
Origin: Native, but not seen except in plantings in NYC.
Habitat: Wooded edges in dry, acid soil (Greller et al. 1991), sometimes planted in restorations. Appears somewhat shade tolerant.
Notes: twigs eaten by rabbits (Martin et al. 1951).