Smoke Tree

27 Feb

 

Smoke Tree (Cotinus coggygria), to 15 ft., wonderful blue-green or purple foliage and dramatic puffs of lavender flowers, deciduous, full sun to part shade.

Unusual and colorful shrub-trees creating broad, urn-shaped mass usually as wide as high. Naturally multistemmed, but can be trained to a single trunk. Common name derived from dramatic puffs of “smoke“ from fading flowers: as the tiny greenish blooms wither, they send out elongated stalks clothed in a profusion of fuzzy lavender-pink hairs.

Plants are at their best under stress in poor or rocky soil. In cultivated gardens, give them fast drainage and avoid overly wet conditions. Resistant to oak root fungus.

Cotinus coggygria is native to southern Europe and central China. Typically 12–15 ft. high and wide, though it may eventually reach 25 ft. The roundish,1 1/2 –3-in. leaves are bluish green in the species, but purple-leafed types are more commonly grown.

 

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