Cotinus coggygria

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Cotinus coggygria
Cotinus coggygria5.jpg
Foliage and seed heads
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Anacardiaceae
Genus: Cotinus
Species: C. coggygria
Binomial name
Cotinus coggygria
(Scop.)

Cotinus coggygria, syn. Rhus cotinus, the European smoketree,[1] Eurasian smoketree, smoke tree, smoke bush, or dyer's sumach is a species of flowering plant in the family Anacardiaceae, native to a large area from southern Europe, east across central Asia and the Himalayas to northern China.

It is a multiple-branching shrub growing to 5–7 m (16–23 ft) tall with an open, spreading, irregular habit, only rarely forming a small tree. The leaves are 3-8 cm long rounded ovals, green with a waxy glaucous sheen. The autumn colour can be strikingly varied, from peach and yellow to scarlet. The flowers are numerous, produced in large inflorescences 15–30 cm (5.9–11.8 in) long; each flower 5-10 mm diameter, with five pale yellow petals. Most of the flowers in each inflorescence abort, elongating into yellowish-pink to pinkish-purple feathery plumes (when viewed en masse these have a wispy 'smoke-like' appearance, hence the common name) which surround the small (2-3 mm) drupaceous fruit that do develop.

Cultivation and uses[edit]

It is commonly grown as an ornamental plant, with several cultivars available. Many of these have been selected for purple foliage and flowers.

The species[2] and its cultivars 'Royal Purple'[3] and 'Flame'[4] have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[4]

The wood was formerly used to make the yellow dye called young fustic.

Fossil record[edit]

Macrofossils of Cotinus coggygria from the early Pliocene epoch have been found in Western Georgia in the Caucasus region.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "European smoketree". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 17 January 2016. 
  2. ^ "RHS Plant Selector Cotinus coggygria AGM / RHS Gardening". Apps.rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 2012-10-01. 
  3. ^ "RHS Plant Selector Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple' AGM / RHS Gardening". Apps.rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 2012-10-01. 
  4. ^ a b "RHS Plant Selector Cotinus 'Flame' AGM / RHS Gardening". Apps.rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 2012-10-01. 
  5. ^ The History of the Flora and Vegetation of Georgia by Irina Shatilova, Nino Mchedlishvili, Luara Rukhadze, Eliso Kvavadze, Georgian National Museum Institute of Paleobiology, Tibilisi 2011, ISBN 978-9941-9105-3-1

External links[edit]