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Common name
wig tree (English), smoke bush (English), smoke tree (English), European smoketree (English), young fustic (English), Hungarian fustic (English), Venetian-sumac (English), fustet (English), festete (Spanish)
Rhus cotinus
Similar species
Cotinus obovatus
Native to Asia and southeastern Europe, Cotinus coggygria is a shrub that occurs naturally in areas with rocky soil and poor soils.
Species Description
Cotinus coggygria is a deciduous shrub with a rounded or irregular shape. It generally grows to 3.6-4.6 metres tall and 2.4-4.3 metres wide. In the summer,C. coggygria exhibits simple, alternate, bluish-green leaves of oval or obvate shape, ranging in size from 3.8cm-8.9cm. In the fall, C. coggygria foilage changes to an attractive mix of yellow, orange, and red. C. coggygria begins to flower in June, exhibiting small yellow-green flowers with panicles ranging from 15.2cm-20.3cm (UConn, undated). UConn (undated) notes that the trees' characteristic look is derived \"from plumy hairs on the sterile flowers.\" C. coggygria stems are smooth and purple or brown in colour. The older bark is light grey (UConn, undated).
Lifecycle Stages
The panicles of Cotinus coggygria change colour as they age between June and September. At their peak, the panicles cover the plant in a smokey pink plume, an aesthetically pleasing arrangement from which C. coggygria derives its common name of 'smoketree' (UConn, undated).
Cotinus coggygria is valuable to humans in a variety of ways. An orange dye can be rendered from the roots and stems of C. coggygria, and its leaves and bark are a good source of tannins. As a medicinal plant, the yellow wood of C. coggygria can be steeped and used as a coagulant, fever reducer, or as a treatment for eye ailments (PFAF, 2004). Ivanova (2004) investigated medicinal uses of Bulgarian plants and found C. coggygria to have antioxidant capabilities greater than those of black, green, and rooibos teas. Famine Foods (1998) notes that in times of distress,the shoots and ripe fruits of C. coggygria is used as an emergency food source in China and the Garwhal Himalyas of India, respectively. As a landscaping plant, C. coggygria is touted for its abiltiy to thrive in dry, difficult conditions, as well as its attractive, late summer flowering (UConn, undated). Becuase it has little need for pruning or maintainence, it is recomended extensively for urban uses such as parking lot island and median strips (Gilman and Watson, 1993). C. coggygria also tranplants well, due to its fibrous root system (PFAF, 2004).
Habitat Description
Cotinus coggygria tolerates a broad range of soil types, from light sandy soils to heavy clays. (Floridata, 2007). C. coggygria also tolerates a wide range of soil ph, from 3.7-6.3. C. coggygria can grow in partial shade to full sun, and it tolerates wet, moist or dry soils. (VCE,1989). When occuring naturally, C. coggygria frequently grows on gravely, dry soils, particularly on south-facing limestone slopes (Illyes, undated).
For Cotinus coggygria to produce seeds, sexual reproduction is necessary. C. coggygria can also be propagated from cuttings, although some cultivars are difficult to root (Floridata, 2007). Floridata (2007) recomends taking heel or nodal cuttings in late summer and treating them with rooting powder.
Likely introduced to US as result of 19th century trade with China.

Principal source: University of Connecticut (Uconn). Undated. Cotinus coggygria;
Floridata. 2007. Online database. Cotinus coggygria

Compiler: National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) & IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG)


Publication date: 2007-08-03

Recommended citation: Global Invasive Species Database (2022) Species profile: Cotinus coggygria. Downloaded from http://www.iucngisd.org/gisd/species.php?sc=1174 on 07-10-2022.

General Impacts
In oak forests of Slovenia where it has been introduced Cotinus coggygria frequently acts as a substrate species for the insect Nueroptera (Devetak,2002).
Management Info
Biological: Although specific research related to control of C. coggygria has not been carried out, the plant may be affected by rusts, leafspot, verticillium wilt, or San Jose scale (Floridata, 2007) These agents could be employed as a biological control mechanism. Floridata (2007) notes that C. coggygria is largely resistant to honeydew fungus.
Countries (or multi-country features) with distribution records for Cotinus coggygria
  • albania
  • armenia
  • austria
  • azerbaijan
  • bulgaria
  • china
  • europe
  • france
  • georgia
  • greece
  • hungary
  • india
  • iran, islamic republic of
  • italy
  • jordan
  • nepal
  • pakistan
  • romania
  • russian federation
  • slovakia
  • slovenia
  • switzerland
  • syrian arab republic
  • turkey
  • ukraine
Informations on Cotinus coggygria has been recorded for the following locations. Click on the name for additional informations.
Lorem Ipsum
Location Status Invasiveness Occurrence Source
Details of Cotinus coggygria in information
Arrival date
Species notes for this location
Location note
Management notes for this location
Ecosystem services:
Impact information
In oak forests of Slovenia where it has been introduced Cotinus coggygria frequently acts as a substrate species for the insect Nueroptera (Devetak,2002).
Red List assessed species 0:
[1] Environmental Ecosystem - Habitat
  • [1] Habitat degradation
Management information
Biological: Although specific research related to control of C. coggygria has not been carried out, the plant may be affected by rusts, leafspot, verticillium wilt, or San Jose scale (Floridata, 2007) These agents could be employed as a biological control mechanism. Floridata (2007) notes that C. coggygria is largely resistant to honeydew fungus.
13 references found for Cotinus coggygria

Management information
Gilman, E and Watson, D., 1993 . Cotinus coggygria Smoketree. University of Florida, 1993.
Summary: This website provides details on all aspects of the plant, including physical descriptions of the trunk, branches, foilage, flowers. It also discusses diseases and pest issues.
Available from: http://hort.ufl.edu/trees/taxon.htm [Acessed 9 April 2007]
USDA, ARS, 2007. Online database. Cotinus coggyrgria National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database]. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland
Summary: This website provided detailed description related to the worldwide distribution of the plant.
Available from: http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?11697 [Acessed 9 April 2007]
General information
Devetak, D. Neuroptera in Oak Forests in the Submediterranean District of Slovenia. Acta Zoologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 48 (Suppl. 2), pp. 67�73, 2002
Summary: This journal article discusses the habits of the insect neuroptera and investigates its relationship with Cotinus coggygria.
Available from: http://www.nhmus.hu/publication/actazool/48Suppl2/devetak.pdf [Acessed 9 April 2007]
Famine Foods. 1998. Online database. Cotinus coggygria
Summary: This website provided information on plant species that are eaten in times of distress. The species listed on this site are consumed only in times of famine. The exhaustive list incorporates plants from all over the world.
Available from: http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/faminefoods/ff_families/ANACARDIACEAE.html [Acessed 9 Apil 2007]
Floridata. 2007. Online database. Cotinus coggygria
Summary: This detailed website lists common names, offers physical descriptions of the plant and its cultivars, and outlines specific soil, nutritional, and light needs. It also outlines possible horticultural and ornamental uses for the plant and discusses pest issues.
Available from: http://www.floridata.com/ref/C/coti_cog.cfm [Accessed 9 April 2007]
ITIS (Integrated Taxonomic Information System), 2005. Online Database Cotinus coggygria
Summary: An online database that provides taxonomic information, common names, synonms, and geographical jurisdiction of a species. In addition, links are porvided to retrieve biological records and collection information from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) Data Portal and Bioscience from BioOne journals.
Available from: http://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=28800 [Acessed 9 April 2007]
Ivanova et al . Polyphenols and antioxidant capacity of Bulgarian medicinal plants. Journal of Ethnopharmacology Volume 96, Issues 1-2, ppg 145-15, 2005.
Summary: This journal article investigates the antioxidant abilities of traditional Bulgarian medicinal plants. Cotinus coggygria was found to have strong antioxidant capabilities.
Plants for a Future. 2004. Online database Cotinus coggygria
Summary: This website provides general information about the plant, common names, and discusses various food, medicinal, and traditional uses for the organism.
Available from: http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Cotinus+coggygria [Acessed 9 April 2007]
Pysek et al. 2002. Catalogue of alien plants of the Czech Republic Preslia, Praha, 74: 97�186, 2002.
Summary: This artile catalouges non-native plants found in the Czech Republic.
Available from: http://www.ibot.cas.cz/personal/pysek/pdf/catalogue_preslia%202002.pdf [Acessed 9 April 2007]
Schlueter, H. On the naturalization of Cotinus coggygria Scop. to a xerothermic shell limestone near Jena in Thuringia. Phytocoenologia. Vol. 23, pp. 637-650. 1993.
Summary: This article discussed the natural habitual preferences of the plant.
University of Connecticut (Uconn). Undated. Cotinus coggygria
Summary: This website gives a general overview of the plants habits, physical appearance, uses, and methods of cultivation.
Available from: http://www.hort.uconn.edu/plants/c/cotcog/cotcog1.html [Accessed 9 April 2007]
USDA, NRCS. 2007. The PLANTS Database. National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA. Cotinus coggygria
Summary: Available from http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=COCO10 [Accessed 9 April 2007]
Virginia Cooperative Extension. 1989. Online database Cotinus coggygria
Summary: This website provides a brief detailed description of cultural needs of the organisim. It mentiones specific acceptable pH ranges for the plant.
Available from: http://www.ext.vt.edu/departments/envirohort/factsheets/shrubs/smkbsh.html [Acessed 9 April 2007]
The following 0 contacts offer information an advice on Cotinus coggygria
Cotinus coggygria
wig tree, smoke bush, smoke tree, European smoketree, young fustic, Hungarian fustic, Venetian-sumac, fustet, festete
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Recommended citation
(2022). Cotinus coggygria. IUCN Environmental Impact Classification for Alien Taxa (EICAT).