latin Name: Cotinus coggygria .

botanical Family: Anacardiaceae, such as the sumacs in the genus Rhus.

Key types: of The genus Cotinus includes two species: C. coggygria in the form of shrubs, the most well-known, and C. obovatus or C. americanus in the form of trees.

Uses: In isolated or in group in a clump of shrubs or in the bottom of the edge joint.


Origin: Eurasia (including the Southern Europe and China) for C. coggygria , and the North America for C. obovatus .

Main features: Cotinus coggygria, is a shrub, bushy and fairly vigorous, most varieties can reach 3 to 6 m in all directions. On his side, C. obovatus can measure up to 10 m high ; there are fine specimens at Kew Garden, in London.

with a long petiole, the leaves of the “beard of Jupiter” or “fustets”, other names of the cotinus are deciduous, ovate and rounded at the summit. Green, yellow or purple in the summer, according to variety, they offer, in the autumn, a declination of flamboyant colors ranging from orange to red.

The inflorescences very light correspond to panicle that is to say, clusters. They are formed by the branching of the peduncles and pedicels very thin. Each pedicel bears a very small flower. The whole gives the impression of clouds. Most of the flowers are sterile, only a few give small berries flattened.

note that one can extract by decoction of the wood of the shrub to dye orange, which was used to dye leather and wool.

Some varieties:

• ‘Royal purple’: Foliage dark purple lined pink, inflorescences that are bright red.

• ‘Grace’: Foliage is bronze, becoming orange-translucent in autumn, inflorescence of pink.

• ‘Golden Lady’: Foliage yellow-orange to red in autumn, and inflorescences yellow-green.

• ‘Young Lady’: green Foliage becoming orange and red in autumn, dwarf variety (1.2 m), inflorescences pale pink.

flowering : Several months, from may to September.

Hardiness: Very good resistance to cold, up to -20°C. The smoketree also support very well the heat of summer and the drought and wind, once installed. On the other hand, they do not like the spray.

Toxicity : All parts of the plant are toxic.


difficulty Level: Very easy to grow.

Ground level: Ordinary. Supports easily the limestone provided that the land is well drained because the smoketree hate the excess moisture. Avoid acid soils and heavy.

Exposure: Full sun, especially for the varieties with purple. A light shade may be sufficient for others.

Sowing/planting: sowing being difficult, the propagation is mainly by cuttings, division of suckers or layering. The planting is then done balled or in a container in the fall or in the spring by adding compost to the bottom of the hole.

Conduct of culture: The shrub is undemanding, a regular supply of compost is not necessary. A size can be done to maintain a compact habit.

Diseases and common parasites : cotinus are resistant to diseases in general. However, excess moisture in the spring can result in the appearance of verticillium wilt. In the summer, hot and dry weather, powdery mildew may develop.

File written by Monique Gervais, SNHF, section ornamental Trees and shrubs.


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