The American smoketree is a North American native.
Identification: American smoketree takes the form of a large
shrub or small tree reaching 15-30' (4.6-9.1 m) in height, and about the same width. The bark is gray-brown
in color, and flaky, and the sap has a strong odor. The wood is a deep orange-yellow color. Leaves are
bluish-green, 2-5" (5-12 cm) long × 1-2½" (2.5-6.3 cm) wide. Leaves are yellow, orange, red, or
purple in the fall. Flowers are panicles (groups) 6-10" (15-25 cm) long, composed of many long,
thin reddish or purplish petioles (stems that support the flowers). Each petiole is
tipped with green to greenish-white flowers.
The flowers are inconspicuous, but the color of the petioles is visible from a distance as a smoky, purplish
haze—thus the tree's common name.
By Sally and Andy Wasowski. Tarpley, Bandera County, TX. 5/1987.