Today’s Tree: Royal Purple Smoke Tree,
Cotinus coggygria (tongue twister)
I see this tree/shrub planted frequently around my area, possibly because it is deer resistant? Maybe I should give up on the veggie garden and plant only these, as I have witnessed deer in my town jump 8-feet fences. Apparently the American Smoke Tree likes dry soil and is drought-resistant, something not necessary for the place I live which is commonly shrouded in fog and rain. The Royal Purple variety seems more flexible and carries stunning color.
These photos are from a landscaped bed, so this is not a mature tree to show the full effect, but when it blooms, it produces the appearance of smoke (from a distance). If it is pruned back, apparently it can grow large but will produce little “smoke” the following year since blooms only appear on 3-year-old stems.