Cotinus coggygria Fr: Fustet; Arbre à perruque
This is a low shrub or small tree that can grow to 5m. When it flowers, the thread-like branches give the tree its smoky appearance. In the autumn, the oval leaves are bright red, and the tree seems to be patches of fire on the hillsides. As a shrub, the dense leaves can hug the ground.
Tall. Very Tall
Flower. small pale-green to yellow flowers grow in loose bunch, 15-20cm.
Leaves. a simple, smooth oval, 3-8cm long; bluish-green
Habitat. garrigue, dry rocky slopes, woods and thickets. The photos of red leaves (above) came from the hillside above Touët.
Fruit. tiny brown berries grouped in loose clusters; the thread-like brances develop thin, silky hairs that give the tree its smooky look.
Practical. the shrub was used for gargling and to stop bleeding, and for tanning and dyeing. The sap is highly toxic.