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American Smoke Tree
American smoke tree, Cotinus obovatus, has distinctive springtime foliage color and intriguing blooms. From a distance, the pink-to-mauve fluffy flowers resemble clouds of smoke. Which is how the plant got it’s common name.
Native to Texas’ Hill Country, this hardy tree is both heat and drought tolerant once established, and grows beautifully in less than ideal soil conditions. If sourcing this tree yourself, be sure to avoid the European species of the smoke tree as it will not be as tolerant of our Texas temps and alkaline soil.
As the tree matures, the bark typically takes on a dark gray color and an attractive, flake-like appearance. Another bonus comes in the autumn when leaves turn varying shades of red, yellow and orange.
The smoke tree prefers sun/partial sun and can mature to a maximum height of 25 feet and width of 25 feet. The size, color, and seasonal interest make it the ideal tree to use as an ornamental focal point in the landscape. This seasonally color-shifting tree just might be the star player you and your landscape are looking for!