Alphabetical Plant Listing

Cotinus obovatus (American Smoke Tree)

American Smoke Tree, Texas Smoke Tree, Wild Smoke Tree, Smoke Tree, Smokebush, Chittamwood, Cotinus americanus


Cotinus obovatus (American Smoke Tree) is a large, deciduous shrub or small tree of oval to rounded habit, prized for its standout fall foliage, airy flower plumes and decorative bark. In late spring, small and insignificant flowers are borne in clusters, 6-10 in. long (15-25 cm). They develop long, smoky pink to purplish pink, hairlike petioles that cover the plant with fluffy, hazy 'smoky' puffs in summer. The large rounded leaves are silky pink in spring, becoming rich blue-green as the season progresses, before turning brilliant orange, red and purple in the fall. They shed to the ground to reveal the gnarled branches and dark, flaking bark, adding winter interest. A choice native species, Cotinus obovatus is an outstanding small, ornamental tree that thrives on tough conditions and neglect, and makes an excellent small lawn tree.

  • Grows up to 20-30 ft. tall and wide (6-9 m)
  • Performs best in full sun, in average, medium, well-drained soils. It is not fussy about soils provided they are not soggy or wet. Poor, rocky soils or clay are tolerated. Should not be over-watered or over-fertilized. Drought tolerant, once established.
  • An excellent choice as a single specimen plant or massed in shrub borders.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Keep an eye out for leaf spots, rust and wilt. Deer resistant.
  • No routine pruning necessary. Remove diseased, damaged, congested or crossing shoots.
  • Propagate by root cuttings, seeds, semi-hardwood cuttings, softwood cuttings.
  • Native from the southern United Sates.

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Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 8
Heat Zones 1 – 8
Climate Zones 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Trees
Plant Family Cotinus - Smoke Trees
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 20' – 30' (6m – 9m)
Spread 20' – 30' (6m – 9m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Missouri, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Clay Soil, Deer, Drought
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds and Borders
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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© Martin Ogden /www.teddingtongardener.com, Peter Turner Photography, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 8
Heat Zones 1 – 8
Climate Zones 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Trees
Plant Family Cotinus - Smoke Trees
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 20' – 30' (6m – 9m)
Spread 20' – 30' (6m – 9m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Missouri, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Clay Soil, Deer, Drought
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds and Borders
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Cotinus - Smoke Trees

Guides with Cotinus - Smoke Trees

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