Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’

purple smokebush

Outstanding Qualities

The rich burgundy foliage of this shrub makes a stunning effect in your garden. Its dark, purple-red leaves contrast dramatically with other shrubs and perennials, and purple smokebush is spectacular as a specimen on its own. Its tiny spring blooms change to lacey, plume-like seed clusters by summer, creating a cloud of "smoke" throughout the plant.

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: orange, red, gold

Great Color Partners: purple, lavender, green

Culture Notes

Purple smokebush thrives in full sun to light shade, although the leaves are greener in shade. Plant in a location with well-drained soil and provide occasional watering during dry weather. It can grow awkwardly as a young plant, but will become fuller as it matures. With minimal pruning it will naturally form a large shrub or small tree over time. This deciduous shrub can be cut to the ground every two to three years in early spring to create vigorous new shoots that have the largest leaves with the boldest foliage color. Plants that are cut back in this manner should be grown in rich soil and have additional summer watering to encourage the robust growth.

© Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Quick Facts

Plant Type: shrub

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 15 ft. 0 in. (4.57 m.)

Plant Width/Spread: 15 ft. 0 in. (4.57 m.)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 5 to 9

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun or light shade

Water Requirements: occasional watering