CPC Plant Profile: Kearney's Sumac
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Plant Profile

Kearney's Sumac (Rhus kearneyi)

Photo Caption

Photo Credit: Steve Blackwell
Description
  • Global Rank: G4 - Apparently Secure
  • Legal Status: N/A
  • Family: Anacardiaceae
  • State: AZ
  • Nature Serve ID: 161659
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 02/25/1988

Rhus kearneyi plants are large showy, evergreen shrubs that grow up to three meters in height. The dioecious flowers grow in creamy white clusters and bloom in March. Petioles and young twigs are a striking reddish color. Many species of Rhus can be found in small numbers in the canyons of northern Sonora, Mexico.

Participating Institutions
CPC's Plant Sponsorship Program provides long term stewardship of rare plants in our National Collection. We are so grateful for all our donors who have made the Plant Sponsorship Program so successful. We are in the process of acknowledging all our wonderful plant sponsorship donors on our website. This is a work in progress and will be updated regularly.
Updates
Center for Plant Conservation
  • 08/19/2021
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

In 2021, CPC contracted Desert Botanical Garden to recollect seed from a population currently held in long term orthodox seed storage as part of an IMLS-funded seed longevity experiment. The National Laboratory for Genetic Resources Preservation will evaluate how germination tested viability and RNA Integrity of seed lots decline over time in storage.

  • 10/08/2020
  • Living Collection

Desert Botanical Garden collected seeds of R. kearneyi in 1986. Plants are easily propagated from seeds and cuttings, but do not thrive in containers for longer than a few years. Over fifty plants can be found in ornamental exhibits within the Garden. The Garden has produced thousands of seeds in cultivation on plants grown to reproductive maturity from field-collected seeds. This species is really attractive in cultivation and has potential valuable horticultural contribution to low-water use landscapes. (Desert Botanical Garden 2000)

  • 10/08/2020
  • Propagation Research

Desert Botanical Garden collected seeds of R. kearneyi in 1986. Plants are easily propagated from seeds and cuttings, but do not thrive in containers for longer than a few years. Over fifty plants can be found in ornamental exhibits within the Garden. The Garden has produced thousands of seeds in cultivation on plants grown to reproductive maturity from field-collected seeds. This species is really attractive in cultivation and has potential valuable horticultural contribution to low-water use landscapes. (Desert Botanical Garden 2000)

  • 10/08/2020
  • Seed Collection

Desert Botanical Garden collected seeds of R. kearneyi in 1986. Plants are easily propagated from seeds and cuttings, but do not thrive in containers for longer than a few years. Over fifty plants can be found in ornamental exhibits within the Garden. The Garden has produced thousands of seeds in cultivation on plants grown to reproductive maturity from field-collected seeds. This species is really attractive in cultivation and has potential valuable horticultural contribution to low-water use landscapes. (Desert Botanical Garden 2000)

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Kathleen C. Rice
  • 01/01/2010

Because it is inherently rare, this species may be threatened by stochastic events.

Kathleen C. Rice
  • 01/01/2010

There is only a single population known in the U.S. from one canyon in the tinajas Altas Mountains on the Barry Goldwater Bombing Range.

Kathleen C. Rice
  • 01/01/2010

Desert Botanical Garden collected seeds of R. kearneyi in 1986. Plants are easily propagated from seeds and cuttings, but do not thrive in containers for longer than a few years. Over fifty plants can be found in ornamental exhibits within the Garden. The Garden has produced thousands of seeds in cultivation on plants grown to reproductive maturity from field-collected seeds. This species is really attractive in cultivation and has potential valuable horticultural contribution to low-water use landscapes. (Desert Botanical Garden 2000)

Kathleen C. Rice
  • 01/01/2010

Although plants are not undergoing any immediate human induced threat, management planning should include seed banking for potential reintroduction in the occurrence of a devastating stochastic event.

Kathleen C. Rice
  • 01/01/2010

This species general biology and ecology would be interesting to know.

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Photos
Nomenclature
Taxon Rhus kearneyi
Authority Barkley
Family Anacardiaceae
CPC Number 7049
ITIS 28784
USDA RHKE
Common Names Kearney sumac | Kearney's sumac
Associated Scientific Names Rhus kearneyi
Distribution Rhus kearneyi is known from the Tinajas Altas, Cabeza Prieta, and Gila Mountains of southwestern Arizona, at elevations of 1000 to 1500 feet (Kearney and Peebles 1973).
State Rank
State State Rank
Arizona S2
Habitat

Plants are found growing along steep canyons and drainages (relatively few individuals) (Kearney and Peebles 1973).

Ecological Relationships

Kearney's Sumac needs the protection and shade of deep canyon walls.

Pollinators
Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID
Reintroduction
Lead Institution State Reintroduction Type Year of First Outplanting

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