Sumac full bloom with honey bee (c) 2021 Ben Philips
Sumac full bloom with honey bee, Story County (c) 2021 Ben Philips

Sumac, Rhus

According to NREM at Iowa State University, Smooth (Rhus Glabra) and Staghorn Sumacs (Rhus typhina) are native to Iowa. 

Their flowers are difficult to spot because of their size and color, so I look for them in the fall when I see red seedheads and red leaves appear and remember or mark for spring. In addition to their flowers, we can use the seed heads as smoker fuel.

sumac flowers
Sumac in bloom, early June
Sumac seedheads
Sumac seedheads, Polk County
sumac changing colors
Classic red leaves and seedhead
sumac leaf
Sumac leaf
sumac in winter
Sumac in winter, Polk County
Sumacs are found as understory trees and bushes
Sumac seedhead
sumac bark
Althought they typically hold their leaves and seedheads, they may be tall enough that all you see is bark