Smoke tree Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’ Photo/Illustration: Stephanie Fagan 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 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 Foliage Color Colorful/Burgundy Foliage Uses Beds and Borders, Specimen Plant/Focal Point Style Cottage Garden Seasonal Interest Spring Interest Tolerance Drought Tolerant Type Shrubs Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’View the discussion thread.