Trees of Alabama and the Southeast

Lisa Samuelson, Ph.D.
School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
Auburn University

SMOKETREE
Cotinus obovatus
Anacardiaceae

Leaves are simple, alternate, decisuous, obovate, green, pubescent on the underside, and with an entire margin. Young twigs are purple-gray with corky lenticels and fragrant when cut. Bark is gray-brown and scaly. Flowers are greenish-yellow. Fruit is a compact drupe on a feathery, hairy stalk that looks smoky. Form is a shrub or small tree up to 10 m (33 ft) in height, sometimes forming thickets. Smoketree is a small tree found on upland sites in northeast Alabama. The wood is durable and used for fence posts. This tree is planted as an ornamental for the attractive fruit.

Photographs by Mike Hogan.

To view examples, click on the thumbnail below: