American smokewood

Cotinus obovatus | Also known as: Chittamwood, American smoketree | Rating: 0 votes | Print / Pdf

American smokewood. A fully legal addition to your garden.

It’s often said that where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Well this is true with cotinus obovatus or American smokewood, a large shrub or small tree that produces fiery foliage in blazing shades of orange, red and purple during autumn. The common name stems from the pinkish-purple hairs that are visible in summer and which resemble puffy smoke. American smokewood will grow in most soils as long as they are moist and well-drained. It should be grown in partial shade or full sunlight and its gorgeous colours are guaranteed to heat up any garden design, whether it is setting borders alight or serving as a feature plant in an open space where it can display itself in all its bright glory.

Rate it:
Known dangers?
  • no
Height [m]
  • 10
Spread [m]
  • 8
Dominant flower colour
  • Silver
Flower Fragrance
  • No, neutral please
Flowering seasons
  • Early summer
  • Mid summer
  • Late summer
  • Early autumn
  • Mid autumn
  • Late autumn
Foliage in spring
  • Brown or bronze
Foliage in summer
  • Brown or bronze
Foliage in Autumn
  • Orange with red or yellow shades
Propagation methods
  • softwood cuttings
  • seed
  • layering
Growth habit
  • Bushy
  • Tufted
  • Acidic
  • Neutral
  • Alkaline
Hardiness zone
  • Z4-8
Heat zone
  • H8-1
Winter temperatures [°C]
  • -34 - -7
Heat days
  • 0 - 120
  • well-drained
  • well-drained but frequently watered
Soil type
  • sandy
  • Clay
  • chalky
  • loams
Sun requirements
  • Full sun
  • Exposed
  • Sheltered
Standard category
  • Trees & shrubs
  • Trees
Grown for
  • Ornamental Foliage
Creative category
  • For Beginners
  • Show-offs
Garden type
  • Cottage garden
Garden spaces
  • Cut flowers
  • Specimen
  • Architectural
  • Borders
Gardening expertise
  • beginner
Time to reach full size
  • up to 20 years