Cotinus obovatus

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Cotinus obovatus
Habit of C. obovatus at Aarhus Botanical Gardens
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Anacardiaceae
Genus: Cotinus
C. obovatus
Binomial name
Cotinus obovatus
Cotinus obovatus range map 5.png
Natural range of Cotinus obovatus

Cotinus obovatus syn. C. americanus, the American smoketree,[2] chittamwood or American smokewood, is a rare species of flowering plant in the genus Cotinus of the family Anacardiaceae, native to Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Alabama and Tennessee. It is a deciduous, conical shrub growing to 10 m (33 ft) tall by 8 m (26 ft) broad, with oval leaves up to 12 cm (5 in) long. It produces panicles of pink-grey flowers in summer, and its foliage turns a brilliant scarlet in autumn; considered by many to be the most intense fall color of any tree. The smokey effect derives from the clusters of hairs on the spent flower stalks.[3] It is highly sought after and cultivated in botanical gardens world wide.[4][5]

The Latin specific epithet obovatus means "in the shape of an inverted egg", and refers to the broadly oval shape of the leaves. The heartwood is a bright yellow. The species may be facing extinction in the wild.


  1. ^ IUCN SSC Global Tree Specialist Group.; Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI). (2020). "Cotinus obovatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2020: e.T152909726A152909728. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-1.RLTS.T152909726A152909728.en. Retrieved 3 May 2020.
  2. ^ "Cotinus obovatus". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 17 January 2016.
  3. ^ "Cotinus obovatus". Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
  4. ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 978-1405332965.
  5. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Cotinus obovatus". Retrieved 20 July 2013.