Sub-category: Cashew family
A multiple-branching shrub growing to 5 to 7 m tall with an open, spreading, irregular habit, only rarely forming a small tree. The leaves are 3 to 8 cm long rounded ovals, green with a waxy glaucous sheen. The autumn color can be strikingly varied, from peach and yellow to scarlet. The flowers are numerous, produced in large inflorescences 15 to 30 cm long; each flower 5 to 10 mm diameter, with five pale yellow petals. Most of the flowers in each inflorescence abort, elongating into yellowish-pink to pinkish-purple feathery plumes (when viewed en masse these have a wispy 'smoke-like' appearance, hence the common name) which surround the small (2 to 3 mm) drupaceous fruit that do develop.
A cultivated plant found in gardens and landscaping.