Thursday, June 24, 2010

Cotinus Coggygria-Smoke Bush

The Smoke Bush at the front our house is now in bloom.  This tree appeared  as a seedling from a seed dropped by a bird some 15 years ago.  Our neighbours had one so I assume that it came from there. It is a multi stemmed deciduous shrub that has grown to approximately 15 ft tall and at least 8 to 10 ft wide at the top. We prune it annually and sometimes severly to keep the various branches from taking over the walk way to the front of the house.

The flower of the Smoke Bush is huge at approximately 6-8 inches long and 5 inches wide and made up of tiny hairs and seeds that can produce many new smoke bushes.  They are bushy and airy and appear as a puff of smoke in a pretty pink colour.  There are many new varieties of Cotinus these days with flowers of lime green or white.  The flowers last a long time.

Here you can see it as it sits at the front of the house.  Many of the plants under it enjoy the shade that it provides.  This shrub is not fussy on soil.  It grows in our amended sandy soil and is drought tolerant. A plus here in hot summers.  I have to giggle here because after reading many of your blogs I have to remember that a hot summer temperature here is just a normal day say in Texas or Australia.   We are hiding in the air conditioning on a 30C day here when the humidity is wilting this gardener.  

The leaves are a beautiful green colour with red stems on our shrub.  In the fall the leaves turn a beautiful red colour.

Here is what a mass of flowers looks like on the Smoke Bush.  We have not seen any problems with insects or disease on this shrub.

If you are looking for something different in your gardens and have room for this shrub I hope you will give it a try.  Happy Gardening.  Valerie


Cyndy said...

Oh that is a beautiful specimen. Thanks to that bird!

Carolyn said...

Your smokebush is beautiful. Mine winterkills to the ground almost every winter so it is a shrub here.
I didn't know there was one with lime green flowers-I would love to have one of those too.