Smoke tree (Cotinus coggygria)
Cotinus is a genus of shrubs and deciduous trees. They are cultivated for the beauty of their foliage, for their plumes of flowers and for the fantastic colors in autumn.
Cotinus coggygria or smoke tree is a shrub with round or oval leaves. There are varieties with purple and green leaves.
Any of the varieties of this species has spectacular autumn colors, especially when the sun illuminates them from behind.
Cotinus flowers are not noticeable individually. They form large, smooth “plumes” that look like small smokes. Hence the common name of smoke tree.
In this article
Plant profileCommon name: Smoke tree, Venetian sumach, American smoke tree, Hungarian sumac, Indian sumac, Purple fringe, Scotino, Smoke bush, Smoke bush, Turkish sumac, Tyrolean sumac, Venus's sumach, Wig tree, Young fustic, Zante wood
Scientific name: Cotinus coggygria
Plant type: Shrubs
Height: 3m - 8m
Spread: 3m - 8m
Foliage color: Green (spring), Green (summer), Orange (autumn), Purple (spring), Purple (summer), Red (autumn), Yellow (autumn)
Flower color: Gray, Pink
Season of interest: Autumn, Summer
Sunlight: Full Sun, Partial shade
Soil: Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Moisture: Moist but well drained, Well drained
Garden type: Informal Garden
Planting type: Cut Flowers, Flower borders and bedding
How to plant
Cotinus prefer to be planted in a position in full sun or partial shade. The soil must be well drained and fertile, but not excessively rich.
The varieties of purple leaves prefer places of full sun so that the colors show their full splendor.
Smoke tree is a good choice for planting at the back of a flower bed or as a focal point or structural tree.
How to prune
Prune in early spring to keep the main structure of the plant, to keep it compact and produce better foliage effects.
How to propagate
Propagate by softwood cuttings in summer or by seeds in autumn.