|YOUNG FEMALE FLOWERS OF STAG HORN SUMAC|
|WISPY FLOWERS OF AMERICAN SMOKE TREE|
The staghorn sumac, Rhus typhina, have suddenly lost last year’s fuzzy fruits that they had kept all winter, and new young flower “cones” have taken their place. The male flowers, long fuzzy spikes, will soon appear on male shrubs, as male and female flowers usually appear on separate plants.
The American smoke bush, Cotinus obovatus, a native of the American Southwest that is hardy north, is closely related and in the same family. It is an interesting plant because of its unusual flowers and bright orange-yellow fall color, and is often grown as an oddity.
The family to which both belong is the Anacardiaceae, the cashew family, which contains both very poisonous and also many ornamental and edible plants.
We had a tree board meeting yesterday afternoon and were going to do a lot of pruning of young trees, but got rained out. The new trees are well established and growing fast in this weather. I ended up repoting our hanging baskets from plastic pots to larger wire and fiber baskets, getting somewhat wet in the process.