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The Plant Guide

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Smoke tree

Cotinus coggygria ‘Velvet Cloak'

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This shrub or small tree has stunning deep purple foliage that turns orange-red in autumn. It has plume-like seed heads, 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. 

CareGrow in moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade. They are tolerant of alkaline soils, moist, clay soils, dry, rocky soils, and drought. These plants 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).

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 Foliage, Showy Seed Heads
  • Plant Type : Shrubs
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest
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