Rhus microphylla

Littleleaf Sumac - Rhus microphylla
East of Hillsboro
New Mexico, USA

Littleleaf Sumac, Rhus microphylla, which is also known as Desert Sumac, Correosa, and Agritos is growing in our yard.  This is a good thing, we like this species and always take some time to admire it when we find it on our walks - which is often.

We found the plant shown in these photographs on a recent walk down Percha Creek to the Box.  Our attention was drawn to it because it was growing next to a stone structure on its way to a more natural state.  

This species has a natural range which is limited to southern Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas in the United States and the mountains of central Mexico as far south as the center of the country.  It is also found at some disjunct "sky islands".

I have a fondness for the berry producing plants of the southwest.  Their berries provide much need nutrition for birds and mammals.  This species is especially important to the native bees of our area.  All ecosystems are intricate webs with many individual components, each dependent on others.  The roll of pollinators is obvious but what to do to minimize our adverse effect on them is not.  The dramatically adverse effect of non-organic pesticides on pollinators are extensively documented.  When using organic pesticides there are also a variety of factors to consider.  The Xerces Society has published a fact sheet entitled "Organic-Approved Pesticides - Minimizing Risks to Bees" which every organic gardener should read.



© Robert Barnes 2018