Cotinus coggygria

10 Jul

Cotinus coggygria (03/07/2015, Walworth, London)

Cotinus coggygria (03/07/2015, Walworth, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Early summer

Soil: Moist, well-drained

Eventual Height: 5m

Eventual Spread: 5m

Hardiness: 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a

Family: Anacardiaceae

Cotinus coggygria is a deciduous shrub with an open bushy habit. Its dark green/ glaucus waxy leaves are orbicular to ovate with entire margins, up to 7cm long and 6cm across. Its leaves turn red/ orange/ yellow in autumn before they fall. Its flower up to 1cm across with 5 pale yellow petals. Its flowers are produced in large fluffy plumes of pink and are up to 30cm long. The flowers are either male or female. Its fruit is a drupe with a fleshy outer coating and up to 3mm across.

Cotinus coggygria  Seed Head (03/07/2015, Walworth, London)

Cotinus coggygria Seed Head (03/07/2015, Walworth, London)

Cotinus coggygria, commonly known as the Smoke Tree or Smoke Bush, is native to southern Europe, central Asia and from the Himalaya to northern China. Cotinus coggygria is synonymous with Rhus cotinus.

The etymological root of the binomial name Cotinus is derived from the ancient Greek  kotinus meraning ‘Wild Olive’. Coggygria is derived from the ancient Greek name for the ‘Smoke Tree’.

Cotinus coggygria  Leaf (03/07/2015, Walworth, London)

Cotinus coggygria Leaf (03/07/2015, Walworth, London)

The landscape architect may find Cotinus coggygria useful as a large, ornamental deciduous shrub with attractive summer flowers and autumn colour. Once established this plant is drought tolerant.

Cotinus coggygria  prefers a moderately-fertile, moist, well-drained soil. It will tolerate most pH of soil.

Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’ requires little maintenance. If necessary it may be pruned hard in March.

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