Common Name: smoke bush, smoke tree, Venetian sumac
Origin/Ecology: Native to Europe.
Habit: Large shrub or small tree (to about 5 or 6 m). Pruning maintains shrubby habit, while unpruned plants eventually become arborescent (tree like).
Leaves: Obovate to orbicular papery deciduous leaves. Leaves are variable in colour, from green to pink and purple (‘Royal Purple’ with purple leaves and pink smoke being the most popular cultivar). Autumn leaf colour with the green leaved types is always vivid, usually orange to peach or red.
Leaf Arrangement: alternate
Flowers and Fruit: Flowers tiny, arranged in broad, rounded inflorescences composed of wispy (smoke-like) branchlets. “Smoke” varies in colour depending on cultivar.
Bark: Lightly fissured, plated, grey-brown.
Water Use, Soil: Requires well-drained soil, somewhat drought tolerant when established.
Exposure: Requires sunny position.
Landscape Uses: Screening, fall interest, dryland (no watering), accent plant.
Limitations: Scale insect, rust, wilt