Cotinus obovatus

American Smoketree

Tips for Homeowners:

Prune lightly in early spring only if absolutely necessary. If pruning is needed to regain a framework for the shrub, cut back hard in early spring but know that this will decrease the amount of flowers.  

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A beautiful multi-stemmed tree with smoky looking flower clusters followed by an amazing show of color in the fall.

  • Rounded shape
  • Green foliage with vibrant fall color
  • Long-lasting ornamental display

Plant singly as an accent plant in the shrub border or in large groups for hedges or screens.  Best in eastern and central Kansas. 

Height: 20-30 ft
Spread: 20-30 ft
Zone: 4-8
Color: Green, Yellow

Interesting Notes about American Smoketree:

Smokebush gets its name from the showy collection of many tiny flowers and silk-like hairs that develop, giving this plant a smoke-like appearance. The leaves on the American Smoketree emerge green and follow up with a fantastic mix of color in shades of yellow, red, orange and purple in the fall. 

Characteristics & Attributes


  • Mass Planting
  • Border or Bed
  • Great Foliage
  • Drought Tolerant
  • Naturalizing
  • Fall Color
  • Specimen

Foliage Color:

  • Purple
  • Yellow
  • Orange
  • Red
  • Green


  • Full Sun
  • Partial Sun

Critter Resistance:

  • Deer Resistant


  • Upright

Season of Interest (Flowering):

  • Summer

Season of Interest (Foliage):

  • Fall

Soil Moisture:

  • Average Water