Smoke tree

Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’

Photo/Illustration: 
Stephanie Fagan
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Smoke tree (Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’)
koe-TY-nus koe-GIG-ree-ah
Synonyms:  Rhus cotinus
Genus:  Cotinus
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 Characteristics:  Cotinus 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). 
Care:  Grows 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.
Propagation:  Sow seed in autumn, layer in spring, and take softwood cuttings in summer.
Problems:  Powdery mildew, Verticillium wilt.

Overview

Height
10 ft. to 15 ft.
Spread
10 ft. to 15 ft.
Growth Pace
Moderate Grower
Light
Full Sun to Part Shade
Moisture
Adaptable
Maintenance
Moderate
Characteristics
Showy Fall Foliage,
Showy Foliage,
Showy Seed Heads
Bloom Time
Early Summer,
Late Summer,
Summer
Flower Color
Pink Flower
Foliage Color
Colorful/Burgundy Foliage
Uses
Beds and Borders,
Flowering Tree,
Hedge,
Specimen Plant/Focal Point
Style
Cottage Garden
Seasonal Interest
Spring Interest
Tolerance
Drought Tolerant
Type
Shrubs

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