Red Sumac

Smooth Sumac

Smooth Sumac © 2008

Sumacs are famous for their red foliage and fruits throughout much of autumn.  The fruits remain over winter and even throughout the following spring, providing much needed winter food for birds. It’s not that the birds are particularly fond of the berries (the berries are really drupes as they have a pit, not a seed), but that it is one of the few available foods. Moose and deer, however, are more than happy to chomp on the foliage and fruits, and often crop the bushes quite close to the ground.

I think the sumac is at its most attractive when the fruits are bright red, and the red berries are surrounded by foliage that is just turning from greens to blue/purples to reds.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. Wow! Beautiful capture!!!!, and I’ll add more !!!! 🙂

  2. Eew-Whee that’s a nice one! Look at those reds. Nice work getting them that intense without oversaturating them!

  3. This is really pretty, Bo. I love the reds.

  4. Have seen a lot of this around..didn’t know what it was. Wonderful image!

  5. The leaves draw the focus to the intense red of the fruit and then they bring the focus back out to the leaves. Rich hues – captivating.

  6. I’m crazy about sumac, Bo. It’s one of my favorite autumnal visions, and I have quite a few since Autumn is my Favorite Season! Can’t wait for them to begin changing here. Lovely photo.

  7. Red Sumac is one of favorite fall plants Bo, but I have never seemed to be able to capture their beauty, but this one really does represent their beauty well !!

    Nice work !!

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