American SmoketreeCotinus obovatus 20-30' x same. Also called Smoke Tree and Chittamwood. Rare and exquisite. (Not to be confused with Smokebush, C. coggygria.)
Bluish-green large oval leaves emerge yellow, orange, amber, red and purple, are upright and filter the sun like stained glass. They relax and turn green as they mature, then put on another color show in fall. Bears 6-10" panicles of tiny yellow-green flowers in early June. As they fade, fuzzy light pink “hairs” emerge and persist all summer, giving the tree a hazy smoky misty quality. These plumes are more subtle than the non-native Smokebush, but the foliage is the real eye-catcher here. Finches love the seeds. Scaly interesting bark.
Thought to be a relic tree from 25 million years ago, it almost went extinct during the mid-19th century when the wood was over-harvested for fence posts, tool handles and orange fabric dye.
Allow it to grow several trunks or prune to a single specimen. Tolerates most soils but prefers well-drained infertile ground. Full sun to partial shade. Native to North America. Z4. Maine Grown. (1-3' bare-root plants)
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