|EURASIAN SMOKE TREE (ON W. 6TH ST. IN WASHBURN)|
|...AMERICAN SMOKE TREE FALL COLOR (IN A SUNNY LOCATION)...|
|... IN A SHADED LOCATION|
The Eurasian smoke tree, Cotinus coggygria, in the Cashew Family (Anacardiceae), is mostly planted for its unusual large, filmy flower plumes that evoke the appearance of smoke. The individual flowers and fruit themselves are visually insignificant. There are many cultivars of the Eurasian species, some with purple leaves. The one pictured is on West 6th St. in Washburn, and is a true eye-catcher.
The American smoke tree, Cotinus obovatus, also called Chittam-wood, is native to calcareous rocky woods and bluffs in a small geographic area in the far south-central American Midwest and south into Texas, but it is perfectly hardy much farther north. It has spectacular fall leaf color but is otherwise not outstanding. It has been a favorite shrub of the National Arbor Day Foundation to distribute free to its members, so it has been widely planted.
The smoketrees are closely related to the sumacs of the genus Rhus. Both genera have strongly scented yellow wood. Sumacs have pinnately compound leaves; smoketrees have simple, toothless leaves.