Fall Colour: Sumac

tiger eyes sumac

If you can pick a bright, overcast day to walk around in the fall, the changing colours on deciduous trees and shrubs simply glow. Hazy, bright light, with no direct sunshine allows the colours to pop. That’s the kind of day it was when I saw this splendid ‘Tiger Eye’ Sumac. It was like a beacon, summoning me to it! One of the things I like about the colour change is that the change is gradual and progressive, so that multiple colours blend together all at once. That effect is particularly noticeable on this sumach, where the red-orange, orange and bright yellow seamlessly blend into the chartreuse green, mixing and mingling to delightful effect.

This cultivar of sumach only grows to six feet and is less likely to sucker (spread from roots) than the native version. It will grow in full sun, or take some partial shade, and is drought resistant, always a bonus. Its normal colour is a bright chartreuse, a popular colour these days, adding lightness and contrasting well with its dark bark and any surrounding darker leaves. The finely cut leaves also provide an interesting texture addition to your garden.

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