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Smoketree is one of the most famous healing plants in our country. Most likely there isn’t a person who has not tried its strong medical properties and healing qualities. However very few people know and have thought about how this trivially sounding plant looks.

cotinus-coggygria-smoke-tree-seeds (1)

The scientific name of the smoketree is Cotinus coggygria and it is from the Anacardiaceae family. In different parts of the country it has different names Dimiashto darvo ( smoke tree ), Smradliak, Tetra, Kukuch, Qprakova shumka, Uaprak and Gorska dаbovina.

Smoketree is found in almost all of Bulgaria. It is mostly found in Southern Europe, the Mediterranean, Caucasus, Southeast and Eastern Asia.

Most common habitats are bushes and oak forests. It grows in dry and rocky soils, it can be found in limestone soils, in plains, foothills and up to 800 meters altitude.

Smoketree is a bush, it can reach the size of a low tree, with a deep root system. Its height can reach up to 5 meters and forms a well branched and spread crown.

The young branches are shiny and barenaked, their colour is green or reddish, turning brown in time.
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The leaves of the smokewood are consecutively located, their shape being egglike and long 3 to 8 cm, located on long stems. On top they are darkgreen and bluegreen at the bottom. They have a specific smell, during the autumn they turn red and give the plant its beautiful autumn color.

 

Cotinus_coggygria_Royal_Purple3 (1) The big poly yellowish inflorescence show up in May-June and are located at the tops of the branches. After the over flourishing, the stems of the flower handles grow long and cover themselves with long hairs.

Its these hairs that give it its decorative effect after it over flourishes. Then the apical buds resemble clouds or smoke and can be colored yellow-pink, pink-violet or red-pink.

flowersTheir most popular form is the decorative Cotinus coggygria “Royal Red” with its leaves red the whole year around.

Its fruits are small about 2-3mm, black in color.

Just the leaves are used for healing purposes. They are harvested July-August, when they are well developed, before they start turning red. The harvesting is done only in dry weather, then the gathered leaves are placed in different baskets. The leaves should not be crushed. Their trademark smell remains and their taste is tart. They are kept in a dry and airy place.

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