Genus: Smoke tree

Cotinus

Photo/Illustration: 
Stephanie Fagan
Smoke tree (Cotinus)
koe-TY-nus
Anacardiaceae
Few species can provide great textural qualities in the landscape like Cotinus . They are grown for their large, plume-like panicles, which appear after the flowers, and give a long-lasting, smokey haze to branch tips. Their smooth, rounded leaves come in exceptional shades of clear pinkish-bronze, yellow, deep purple, and green. Most species and cultivars produce magnificent fall color.
Noteworthy characteristics:  Outstanding specimens in a shrub border, Cotinus are also a great choice for massing or for hedges. They need minimal pruning to maintain a healthy framework, or alternately, may be coppiced to produce large, dramatic foliage on varieties with colorful foliage (this is at the expense of generous flowering).  C. obovatus is native to the southeast U.S.
Care:  Grow in moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade. Tolerant of moist, clay soils or dry, rocky soils and drought. Purple-leaved forms are more vibrant in full sun.
Propagation: 

Sow seed in autumn, layer in spring, or take softwood cuttings in summer.

Problems: 

Powdery mildew, Verticillium wilt.

Species, varieties and clutivars for genus Cotinus

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'Grace' smoke tree
Cotinus 'Grace'
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Smoke tree
Cotinus coggygria
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Cotinus coggygria 'Ancot'
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Smoke tree
Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’
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Smoke tree
Cotinus coggygria ‘Velvet Cloak'