About Cotinus Coggygria
This genus of plants is made up of 3 species of deciduous trees or shrubs that are commonly seen in North America and across southern Europe. It belongs to the same family as Anacardiaceae also know as Rhus.
When you make a physical touch with the plant, it can cause contact dermatitis. Contact dermatitis is a type of eczema that causes the skin to become irritated and dry. Therefore, cotinus coggygria can be considered a pesky weed in many places.
Albeit cotinus coggygria is a valuable garden plant that has a long season of interest.
During the summer you can witness this plant growing small flowers that are borne from long panicles. As a result, the flowers have a hazy appearance which gives this plant its name, Eurasian smoke tree or smoke bush.
When winter arrives, cotinus coggygria such as Velvet Cloak and Royal Purple begin to produce broad oval shaped leaves that are red, yellow, and orange in colour.
How to Grow from Seed
Smoke bushes can grow in a wide variety of soils and climatic conditions but grow best when there is lots of sunshine.
Like most trees from cool-temperate regions, smoke bush can produce vibrant autumn colors during the areas where winter is cold.
It is best to flame prune dead wood or straggly branches.
- When trying to plant from seed sown, it is best cultivated during the autumn or late summer. Hardwood or softwood cuttings of the tree or shrub can help during propagation.
- The best time to take the cutting is at the end of July and early August.
- The most challenging part of propagating trees or shrubs from wood cutting is to know when the stems are ready to be cut. The best way to know if wood cutting is ready to be harvested is to take a stem and break it in half. If the stem produces a snapping sound, then it is mature and ready to harvest.
- When collecting the cuttings of a tree or shrub, it is best to do it early in the day. Rap the cuttings into a paper towel to protect from sunlight and dryness. Next, use pruning shears to cut the stem leaving at least two sets of leaves intact. An average cutting should measure about 4 inches.
- To prepare cuttings for rooting take out the lower part of the leaves so that the wounds on the shoot are opened up. The wounded part of the cutting is where the roots with propagate. Also be sure to hurt the end of the shoot’s tip by laying the wood cutting down and taking away a line of bark.
- Next, dip the end of the stem into water and then apply rooting powder. Rooting hormone powder contains auxins that allow the cuttings to root quicker.
- After this, you want to begin seed germination. To do it, take a seedling tray and fill it with a soilless mixture and perlite. For every six parts perlite fill it with four parts potting mix. As a result, you will give the new roots room for drainage and increase the aeration rate. Once you have placed the cuttings in the soil, you need to cut parts of the leaves off to minimize water loss through transpiration.
- Once you have filled the seedling tray and planted the cuttings, get a large plastic see-through bag and place the tray inside the bag. The reason behind this technique is to increase humidity. Place the bag in an area where the cutting can receive moderate sunshine.
- After six weeks in the bag, new roots will begin to develop. Once the shrubs or tree starts to sprout, you can move it to anywhere to a new, permanent location. It will take approximately six months to have the shrubs rooted and growing. This means from the late summer when you begin propagating; the plants will start to appear the spring of the following year.
Cotinus coggygria varieties
There are four main types of cotinus coggygria:
Cotinus coggygria also called Rhus Cotinus, Eurasian smoke-bush, and Venetian sumac
The cotinus coggygria is 15ft tall (4.5m) and found in southern Europe and central China. It is a rounded bush with broad oval leaves. It has many plume-like panicles, small bronze-pink flowers, and fades to purplish leaves in the summer.
Types of cotinus coggygria that produce purple leaves are Royal Purple, and Velvet cloak. Velvet cloak sprouts dark red-purple leaves that turn entirely red in the fall.
Cotinus flame is 16-19 ft (6-7m) tall. It is a hybrid combination of C. coggygria and C. obovatus. It produces large, fluffy, grey flowers in the summer and scarlet coloured flowers during autumn. It is slow growing and a round small tree. Large panicles grow during early spring and early summer.
Cotinus Grace is a hybrid combination between C. coggygria, C. velvet cloak, and C. obovatus. It produces reddish purple leaves and greying plumes that give it a hazy smoke-like appearance. It is often grown for its large pink panicles. It is one of the best shrubs that can be planted in a perimeter for privacy purposes.
Cotinus obovatus also called cotinus americanus, c. cotinoides, and rhus cotinoides is an American smoke tree/ chittamwood that grows 6 metres wide and 9 metres tall. It grows best in moderate moisture rich, well-drained soil and moderate sunshine. It is adaptable to most types of soil even if they are not fertile. During autumn foliage alternate various colours such as yellow, red, orange, and purple. It has a tree-like broad conical form.
As a zones 5-10 and 7-10 species, cotinus is most common in southern Europe. Cotinus makes for great uses in shrub borders, massing, and for hedges.
They do not require much maintenance to sustain a healthy framework. Their growth can be stimulated with coppicing. The tree or shrub produces a colourful foliate and grows in almost any soil type such as fertile, moist, alkaline, rocky, clay, and drought.
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