The European smoketree
The European smoketree or smokebush (Cotinus coggygria Scop.) is a bush originally from south-eastern Europe and central Asia. It is grown as an ornamental plant both for its beautiful autumn colours and for the spectacular transformation it undergoes after flowering in the spring. This results in the formation of what are commonly known as “wigs”; with a large number of flowers in each inflorescence extending in the shape of yellowy pink or purple feathers surrounding the small fruit.
There is only one specimen of this tree in the Alhambra, which is situated right next to the Puerta del Vino (Wine Gate). We estimate that it is almost 60 years old. We decided to choose it as this month’s plant precisely because of its rarity at the Alhambra, as well as its autumn colours.