I decided to just continue the back yard tour of plants I like. Although I worked hard to get the stand of white pines started, I did nothing at all to make the turkeyfoot (big bluestem grass) or this sumac to grow. I'd love it if the old, tired farm field eventually turned into a maze of native plants. I'd better get busy whacking the autumn olive if that is to become a possibility!
The shining sumac is also known as winged sumac, or dwarf sumac. Quite a large patch of it has developed just beyond the turkeyfoot. I've blogged about it before, but these pictures are better, and the plants are larger now.
Here's how it gets the first two names. The leaves are deep green and shiny, and they are winged. Sometimes names even make sense!
It's often grown as a small ornamental tree. Mine stay shrubby. I suspect it's because the deer like to browse on them in the spring.
The flower heads are really stunning when you look at them up close.
I also have a "sort-of" mystery plant. It's one of the wild lettuce, but seems to have characteristics of several species. Maybe you'll see that one another day.
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