Smoke Trees

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I have been seeing lots of these Eurasian smoke trees (Cotinus coggygria) in bloom this week in parks and gardens all over the city. The flower head looks like a cloud of smoke, hence the name. There are only two species in the Cotinus genus, this one and another that is native to the American southwest. The Eurasian species has a huge range, from southern Europe to northern China. It is a member of Anacardiaceae  the family of plants that includes the mango, poison ivy, sumac and cashew. I wonder if the smoke tree can elicit an allergic reaction like some other members of the family. It is a beautiful addition to any park.

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An Eurasian smoke tree in bloom on the campus of Kwansei Gakuin

 

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