A deciduous shrub to small tree in the Anacardiaceae or Cashew family, native to eastern North America. It grows to 3–10 m tall, and has alternate, pinnately compound leaves 25–55 cm long, each with 9–31 serrate leaflets 6–11 cm long. The leaf petioles and the stems are densely covered in rust-colored hairs. Staghorn sumac is dioecious, and large clumps can form with either male or female plants. The fruit of staghorn sumac is one of the most identifiable characteristics, forming dense clusters of small red drupes at the terminal end of the branches; the clusters are conic, 10-20 cm long and 4-6 cm broad at the base. The plant flowers from May to July and fruit ripens from June to September. The foliage turns a brilliant red in autumn. The fruit has been known to last through winter and into spring.
It is primarily found in Southeastern Canada, the Northeastern and Midwestern United States, Southern Ontario, and the Appalachian Mountains.
Found a series of these sumac shrubs while visiting Cabot Head lighthouse in the Northern Bruce Peninsula.