Here's a somewhat sad-looking Cotinus coggygria (Smoketree or Smokebush) growing behind some yews, near the reservoir on the east side of Central Park:
Personally, I can't say much for Cotinus. It's simply an odd plant. The flowers that you see below aren't actually flowers. Instead they are (essentially) hairy stems (called pedicels and peduncles) that support the very small and very few flowers which bloom without notice. For what it's worth, these panicles are very weird and interesting looking:
In my class, we have discussed where it could make a decent contribution to the landscape and I am stumped to think of a scenario where a better plant cannot be used. It's kinda sloppy looking unless pruned consistently, and it just looks otherworldly. I think it would be a distraction to an otherwise harmonious planting.
The name, Cotinus coggygria is derivative from the Greek words kotinus, meaning 'olive' and kokkugia, the Greek name for Smoketree.
Finally, we (okay, mostly I) decided that it would be a smart plant to use in an "otherworldly" setting. Like Disneyland, maybe.