Cotinus Coggygria is a deciduous shrub with green oval foliage and dramatic smoke-like flowers in summer. It suits mixed borders and is popular with flower arrangers.
Cotinus Coggygria is better known as the Smoke Tree or the Venetian Sumach. It’s native to a wide area from southern Europe to Northern China and has been grown here in the UK since the 17th Century when its wood was used to make a yellow dye.
It has smooth, rounded oval leaves that appear in early spring and last until the autumn frosts when they turn pretty colours of orange and peach before falling. The foliage is attractive but it’s the dramatic flowers that give Smoke Tree its name. These inflorescences are yellowy-tan and grow in plumes of 20 cms or more. In June and July, the shrub is covered in tanned plumes which gradually mature to smoky grey in late summer. In late summer to early autumn small kidney-shaped fruit containing seeds appear.
This is an unusual, low-maintenance shrub that suits modern and country-style gardens.
Height And Spread of Cotinus Coggygria Smoke Tree will reach a maximum of 3-4 metres in height and spread.
How Hardy is Cotinus Coggygria Venetian Sumach is hardy enough to cope with sub-zero UK winters if the roots are well-drained. Once established it can take some drought and it’s rarely affected by pests.
How to Use Cotinus Coggygria The smoke tree is a welcome addition to a mixed border where its smoke-like plumes add unusual form and colour. It can grow to several metres tall, so a position at the back of the border is best. You can grow Venetian Sumach in a large well-watered and fed container to brighten up a deck, patio, or balcony garden too – but ensure you water it well in the dry months. The smoke-like plumes are prized by flower arrangers and used by birds as nesting materials.
How To Care For Cotinus Coggygria This is an easy-to-grow shrub that takes to the majority of well-drained soils. It prefers a sunny to a partially sunny spot and will cope with exposed locations although the flower plumes will last longer in sheltered positions. There is no need to prune Smoke Tree, but you can trim back branches and remove crossed or dead branches in the dormant winter season. Water well until established and apply a thick layer of mulch to the roots in early spring.