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Cotinus - Scop.

Common Name Smoke Tree, European smoketree, Venetian Sumac, Wig Tree, Smoke Tree
Family Anacardiaceae
USDA hardiness 5-8
Known Hazards Skin contact with this plant can cause dermatitis in sensitive people[200]. Though related to several poisonous species, this species is definitely not poisonous[65].
Habitats Dry hillsides, rocky places and open woods, usually on limestone, to 1300 metres[45, 50, 89].
Range S. Europe to W. Asia.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Cotinus Smoke Tree, European smoketree, Venetian Sumac, Wig Tree, Smoke Tree


Cotinus Smoke Tree, European smoketree, Venetian Sumac, Wig Tree, Smoke Tree

 

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Summary

Bloom Color: Pink, White. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Early spring, Late summer, Late spring, Mid summer, Mid spring. Form: Rounded.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Cotinus is a deciduous Shrub growing to 5 m (16ft) by 5 m (16ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in flower from June to July, and the seeds ripen from September to October. The species is dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required). . The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Rhus coggygria. R. cotinus.

Habitats

Edible Uses

Leaves[2, 179]. They are possibly edible[105, 177]. Some caution is advised. A volatile oil in the leaves contains pinene and camphene[179]. One report suggests that the essential oil contained in the flowers and leaves has a mango-like odour[158]. We have tried these leaves and really would not recommend them to anyone[K].

References

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


The yellow wood is used as a cholagogue, febrifuge and for eye ailments[218].

References

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An important new book from PFAF. It focuses on the attributes of plants suitable for food forests, what each can contribute to a food forest ecosystem, including carbon sequestration, and the kinds of foods they yield. The book suggests that community and small-scale food forests can provide a real alternative to intensive industrialised agriculture, and help to combat the many inter-related environmental crises that threaten the very future of life on Earth.

Read More

FOOD FOREST PLANTS

Other Uses

An essential oil is obtained from the leaves and flowers[105]. It has a mango-like smell[158]. Is it edible[K]? A yellow to orange dye is obtained from the root and stem[1, 4, 11, 14, 57]. It is somewhat fugitive though[4]. The leaves and bark are a good source of tannins[46, 61, 158]. Wood - ornamental. Used for cabinet making, picture frames[158]. The twigs are used in basketry[158].

Special Uses

References

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Massing, Pollard, Screen, Standard, Specimen. Tolerates most soils[202]. Prefers a well-drained dry or moist soil in a sunny position[108, 200], doing better in a soil that is not very rich[11, 49]. Prefers a fertile but not over-rich soil[188]. Tolerates light shade[188]. Established plants are drought tolerant. Plants are hardy to about -20°c[184], though die-back often occurs at the tips of shoots during the winter[202]. Plants are slow to establish but are then quite fast growing when young though they slow down with age[202]. Hybridizes with C. obovatus[182]. A number of cultivars have been developed for their ornamental value[182, 200]. The purple-leafed cultivars are susceptible to mildew[202]. Plants flower on wood that is at least 3 years old[202]. Any pruning is best done in the spring[202]. Branches sometimes wilt, especially after hard pruning, and these should be removed[182]. This species is notably resistant to honey fungus[88, 200]. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. Special Features: Not North American native, Attractive flowers or blooms.

References

Temperature Converter

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Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[78, 113, 200]. It should germinate in the spring. Slightly immature or 'green' seed, harvested when it has fully developed but before it dries on the plant, gives the best results[113]. Warm stratify stored seed for 2 - 3 months at 15°c, then cold stratify for 2 - 3 months[164]. Germination can be very slow, often taking 12 months or more at 15°c[164]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. The seed has a long viability and should store for several years[113]. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame[113]. Trench layering in spring[200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Cotinus coggygriaSmoke Tree, European smoketree, Venetian Sumac, Wig Tree, Smoke TreeShrub5.0 5-8 MLMHSNDM11 
Cotinus obovatusChittamwood, American smoketreeShrub10.0 4-8 MLMHSNM00 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Author

Scop.

Botanical References

1150200

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