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The Plant Guide

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Smoke tree

Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’

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This shrub or small tree has stunning dark red-purple foliage that turns scarlet in autumn. It has plume-like seed clusters, which appear after the flowers and give a long-lasting, smoky haze to branch tips.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsCotinus are outstanding specimens in a shrub border, and are a great choice for massing or for hedges. They need minimal pruning to maintain a healthy framework, or alternatively, may be coppiced to produce large, dramatic foliage on varieties with colorful foliage (this is at the expense of generous flowering). 

CareGrows best in moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade, but is tolerant of alkaline soils, moist, clay soils, dry, rocky soils, and drought.

PropagationSow seed in autumn, layer in spring, and take softwood cuttings in summer.

ProblemsPowdery mildew, Verticillium wilt.

  • Genus : Cotinus
  • Plant Height : 10 to 15 feet
  • Plant Width : 10 to 15 feet
  • Zones : 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
  • Moisture : Adaptable
  • Tolerance : Drought Tolerant
  • Bloom Time : Early Summer, Late Summer, Summer
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Growth Rate : Moderate
  • Maintenance : Moderate
  • Flower Color : Pink
  • Foliage Color : Purple/Burgundy
  • Characteristics : Showy Fall Foliage, Showy Foliage, Showy Seed Heads
  • Plant Type : Shrubs
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest
View Comments


  1. janetcleveland 06/19/2017

    When does 'Royal Purple' go to seed, i.e. the smoke, in zone 6-7?

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