With these characteristics: None
Smoketree, American, or Chittamwood
Anacardiaceae - Cashew
Leaves: Similar to C. coggygria; dark green to bluish-green in summer; fall color exceptionally intense, yellow or orange to red-purple; hairy below when young; simple; alternate; 2" to 6" in length (half as wide); oval to egg-shaped, margins rounded to notched at tip, acute angle towards base; long petioles (1/2" to 1-1/2"); deciduous.
Twigs/buds: Twigs orangish, green-brown, or purple-gray when young, becoming gray-brown with age; hairless; stout; have lenticels; fragrant when broken. Buds dark, small.
Flowers/fruit: Flowers dioecious; greenish to yellowish, becoming pinkish with age; open, sparse, small; in silky-haired clusters, branched, 6" to 10" in length, cone-shaped, resembling fuzzy puffs of smoke; occur in spring; male showier than female. Fruit a drupe; brown, dry, compressed, oblong (shaped like kidney-bean), 1/8" in length; in 1" to 3" long panicles.
Bark: Light grayish brown when young, but becoming darker and scaly or flaky with maturity.
Wood: Durable, used to make fence posts; resistant to breakage; contains a harvestable yellow/orange dye.
General: Native to highlands and open woods or forest edges of southern states, from Tennessee and Alabama to Missouri and Texas. Has become rare due to harvesting for the dye found in the wood. An upright shrub or small tree from 20' to 30' in height and width. Canopy is rounded, open, and often multi-trunked. Prefers full sun. Tolerant of hot and dry sites and other adverse urban conditions.
Landscape Use: Worth trying if you can get it. Less commonly cultivated than C. coggygria. Similar to C. coggyria, but gets larger, with larger leaves, and excellent yellow to red to purple fall color. Zones 4(3?)-8.
Cultivar: 'Grace', 'Red Leaf'.
- Anacardiaceae - Cashew
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