Friday, November 6, 2009

A way to leave.

Here is a deciduous shrub/tree that refuses to defoliate quietly. It is, I believe, a Cotinus, commonly known as smoke tree for its fluffy, spent panicles that resemble puffs of purple-grey smoke. The leaves are dark purple-green in summer, but now are bright red and patterned with depigmented(?) spots between leaf veins.

I think this one is Cotinus 'Grace,' which was created by hybridizing the Eurasian C. coggygria with the eastern North American C. obovatus.

Cotinus is a member of the Anacardiaceae. Other members include sumac, mango, cashew, and a bane of my existence, poison ivy (poison oak too).


Karen said...

Wow, never seen that before! Quite a find. One of the most unusual fall leaf colorings ever. I had a regular purple cotinus in my old garden, I miss it. They are ubiquitous here but no matter, always lovely.

Hugh said...

It's a very odd coloring, and because of it I was puzzled as to the identity of the plant despite Cotinus being a very common garden feature here. I think the "spots" are dead areas, but the tree was in someone's yard on the other side of a fence, so couldn't look closer.

Carol said...

Very pretty...I miss the fall colors.

Dee said...

wow- those leaves are so cool! I love the patterns!