from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Either of two deciduous plants, Cotinus obovatus, a tree of the southern United States, or C. coggygria, a shrub of Eurasia, having plumelike clusters of small yellowish flowers.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a shrub (Rhus Cotinus) in which the flowers are mostly abortive and the panicles transformed into tangles of plumose pedicels looking like wreaths of smoke.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A tree-like shrub, Rhus Cotinus, native in southern Europe, cultivated elsewhere for ornament.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. any of several shrubs or shrubby trees of the genus Cotinus
  • n. greyish-green shrub of desert regions of southwestern United States and Mexico having sparse foliage and terminal spikes of bluish violet flowers; locally important as source of a light-colored honey of excellent flavor


From the resemblance of the flower clusters to puffs of smoke.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


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