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Cotinus coggygria

Cotinus coggygria is native from Southern Europe all the way to Central China. It is a deciduous multistemmed shrub. It can also be trained as a single-stemmed shrub or small tree. It is also known as Rhus cotinus, Common Smoketree, Smokebush, European Smoketree, Venetian Sumach, Eurasian Smoketree. It is part of the Anacardicaceae family of plants. It has very different looking flowers.

Cotinus coggygria
Cotinus coggygria

Cotinus coggygria grows from 12 to 15ft or 4 to 5m. It has oval, alternate leaves. They are bluish-green. They turn to shades of yellow and red in autumn. It flowers in summer starting in June. The flowers are plumy haired. They grow in panicles of about 8in or 20cm.

The Cotinus coggygria plumy flowers remain for a long time and they change color through the seasons. They turn to smoky pink color, therefore the common name Smoke Tree. They kind of resemble puffs of smoke.

Grow it in the sun or partial shade. Plant it in well-drained soil. It adapts to any type of soil. Propagate by semi-hard cuttings or seed. It is generally pest-free, but watch out for verticillium wilt.

Cotinus coggygria
Cotinus coggygria or Common Smoketree
St James's Park, London
Cotinus coggygria at St James’s Park

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I am a flower enthusiast and a gardener at heart. Ever since childhood I loved reading about plants and started gardening at an early age. First by helping my father in the garden and later managing a large garden myself in my teen years. I planted and cared for a large number of plants, flowers, and trees both outdoors and in a greenhouse. To this day I enjoy visiting gardens and parks and learning about new and old specimens and varieties of plants.

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