Click for previous Image Image 1 of 2 Cotinus obovatus American Smoke Tree
Cotinus obovatus - American Smoke Tree from Quackin Grass Nursery

Cotinus obovatus - American Smoke Tree from Quackin Grass Nursery

Cotinus obovatus

American Smoke Tree

Plant Type:


Cotinus obovatus - 4(+) feet tall in 3 Gallon pots. Nice, easy-going tree with an upright oval outline composed of alternately-set 2 to 3 inch, matte-finished leaves in a medium to light green tint. These develop beautiful, consistent confetti fall colors. Cotinus obovatus produces buff to yellow-green puffs of "smoke" up to 10 inches long and may grow up to 7.5 inches wide. The smoke is actually silky, billowy hairs containing multitudes of tiny yellow-green florets. On mature specimens the bark becomes increasingly scaly and interesting. Due to over-harvesting for the yellow dye it makes when processed the American Smoke Tree nearly went extinct during the Civil War. Today, populations are naturally found in Tennessee, Alabama and on the Edwards Plateau in Texas. The American Smoke Tree also goes by other common names, Texas Smoke Tree, Wild Smoke Tree, Smoke Tree, Smokebush and Chittamwood (whatever the hell that is?!). Site in full sun exposure planted in average to fertile draining soil. Added dolomitic limestone may be beneficial. Established small tree grown from cutting.


20-30 ft


20-28 ft


Buff Yellow, Yellow Green

Characteristics and Attributes for Cotinus obovatus

Season of Interest (Flowering)

  • Spring

Season of Interest (Foliage)

  • Spring / Summer / Autumn

Interesting Bark

  • Scaly

Autumn Interest

  • Autumn Leaf Color

Nature Attraction

  • Deer Resistant


  • Full Sun


  • Drought Tolerant
  • Alee
  • Specimen
  • Accent

Growth Rate in the Garden

  • Moderately Fast


  • Calcareous
  • Draining
  • Average
  • Fertile


  • Southern to Southwestern U.S.

Propagated By

  • Cutting Grown