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(smoke tree), a genus of deciduous shrub (2–5 m tall) and small trees (up to 12 m tall) of the family Anacardia-ceae. The gray leaves are simple, alternate, and entire. The tiny yellowish white or greenish flowers are bisexual and staminate. The loose terminal panicles contain many underdeveloped flowers on long flower stalks, covered wih long, spreading reddish or greenish hairs. In the fall the flower stalks grow bushy and give the plant an ornamental appearance.
There are two species: Cotinus americanus, which grows in North America, and C. coggigria, which grows in southern Europe, southern Asia (from Asia Minor to China), and the USSR (the Caucasus and south of the European section). C. coggigria is found among shrubs on dry, often stony and chalky slopes and in pine and oak forests. It is cultivated as an ornamental and for the tannins and related products in the leaves, which are used in the chemical and textile industries. The leaves are used for tanning leather. The greenish yellow wood of the shrubs is used to make various articles. The plants yield the dye fisetin, which is used to dye wool, silk, wood, and leather yellow and orange.
T. G. LEONOVA