Smoke tree

Cotinus coggygria ‘Velvet Cloak'

Photo/Illustration: 
Jennifer Benner
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Smoke tree (Cotinus coggygria ‘Velvet Cloak')
koe-TY-nus koe-GIG-ree-ah
Synonyms:  Rhus cotinus
Genus:  Cotinus
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 Characteristics:  Cotinus are outstanding specimens in a shrub border, and are a great choice for massing or for hedges. 
Care:  Grow 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).
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 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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