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Flower from Mixed Borders at RHS Wisley. Photo from Chris Garnons-Williams on 17 June 2013.

Plant Name

Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple'

Cotinus comes from the Greek for wild olive, kotinus.

Common Name

Smoke Bush

Soil

Chalk, Loam, Sand

Sun Aspect

Full Sun

Soil Moisture

Moist and Well-drained

Plant Type

Deciduous Shrub

Height x Spread in inches (cms)
(1 inch = 2.5 cms,
12 inches = 1 foot = 30 cms,
24 inches = 2 feet,
3 feet = 1 yard,
40 inches = 100 cms)

200 x 200 (500 x 500)

Foliage

Dark Red-Purple oval leaves and, when the temperature drops, the leaves develop a bright-pink margin before becoming scarlet - see photos below.

Flower Shape, Natural Arrangement, Number of Petals and Flower Colour in Month(s). Seed

Fluffy plumes of Purplish-Pink, 5 Petal flowers in July-August

"These frothy, feathery panicles cover the shrub, forming a soft haze in summer. As the flowers fade they turn silver-white and this is where the common name "smoke bush" comes from. The flowers literally look like puffs of smoke." from The Telegraph.

Comment

"This deciduous shrub has magnificent, dark red-purple oval leaves, that turn scarlet in autumn. In July and August, it is festooned with fluffy plumes of purplish-pink flowers that look like a haze of smoke. This is an eye-catching specimen plant for a sunny shrub or mixed border. The foliage, which appears almost translucent when backlit by the sun, is at its best when the plant has been pruned hard in March.
In late winter or early spring remove any misplaced, diseased or crossing branches. Alternatively, to produce larger leaves, cut the stems back hard to within two or three buds of the base in early spring. After pruning apply a generous 5-7cm (2-3in) mulch of well-rotted garden compost or manure around the base of the plant." from Crocus .

 

"All cotinus need full sun and warmth to perform. For panicles of fluffy flowers, give this shrub the space to shine in an open, warm position. Leave it to develop into a large bush or small tree and remove dead wood in spring.

To encourage foliage at the expense of flowers, cut back or coppice it in late spring. However, your cotinus must be well-established before you embark on hard pruning.

There are some excellent varieties on offer besides the widely available and acclaimed 'Royal Purple'. The hybrids 'Grace' and 'Flame' have larger, more oval leaves, are vigorous, tree-like growers and colour up well in autumn thanks to their American blood. 'Grace' has purple-tinted leaves that turn scarlet and 'Flame' has blue-green leaves that turn orange-red.

Two recent introductions flower when very young. 'Golden Spirit' has lime-yellow leaves, but it will keep its bright colour only in full sun: some feel that the pink flowers clash with the foliage.

'Young Lady' is a green-leaved, free-flowering form. It is referred to by one nurseryman as "a poodle in a pot" because the flower heads are almost top-heavy. Both are perhaps more suitable for smaller gardens." from The Telegraph .

 

Available from
R,V. Roger Ltd - "Our extensive range of over 16,000 plants, bulbs and seeds is here on the website for you to browse. We can take orders through the site or over the phone at the nursery. Advice sheets are also available." and
Crocus in the UK with
Wayside Gardens in America - Wayside Gardens has its own Complete Planting and Care Guide for each plant they sell organized by genus.

Companions

"Cotinus comes into leaf later than most shrubs. But the whorls of round leaves, once they do appear, look very crisp, almost as though they've been meticulously cloud-pruned. So the rounded contours are easily integrated into mixed herbaceous borders of later-flowering plants.

The dark leaves of 'Royal Purple' flatter paler, softer colours and give extra depth to the sky-blue Clematis 'Perle d'Azur' if it is allowed to scramble through the branches. Cotinus is also a good backdrop for blue agapanthus. Pale apricots, pinks, blues, whites, creams and lemon-yellows can be unassertive in the garden.

But they are brought to life if planted close to wine-purple foliage. 'Buff Beauty' roses, white Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle', beige pennisetums or asters will sparkle late into the year against the sultry foliage.

The leaves are also dramatic enough to mix with strong colours, so pink, orange or warm yellow cactus dahlias look sensational. Alternatively, you could use cotinus with a hot, red mixture of crocosmias, cannas and salvias." from The Telegraph .

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Flowers from Mixed Borders at RHS Wisley. Photo from Chris Garnons-Williams on 17 June 2013.

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Foliage from Mixed Borders at RHS Wisley. Photo from Chris Garnons-Williams on 17 June 2013.

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Spring Form from Mixed Borders at RHS Wisley.

With this old Cotinus, note the lack of purple spring foliage below 24 inches (60 cms) from ground. It is useful to have smaller plants growing in front to hide that during the summer season as you can see below.

Photo from Chris Garnons-Williams on 15 May 2013.

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Summer Form from Mixed Borders at RHS Wisley. Photo from Chris Garnons-Williams on 17 June 2013.

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Winter Form from Mixed Borders at RHS Wisley.

The thin pink branches are from growth in 2012 season.

Photo from Chris Garnons-Williams on 4 March 2013.

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Spring Foliage from Mixed Borders at RHS Wisley.

It would appear that the new spring foliage appears on small new branches created in the same spring.

Photo from Chris Garnons-Williams on 15 May 2013.

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Summer Foliage from Bowes-Lyon Rose Garden at RHS Wisley.

It would appear that the foliage towards the end of summer has deep pink margins and then that becomes:-

Photo from Chris Garnons-Williams on 3 August 2013.

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Late Autumn Foliage from Mixed Borders at RHS Wisley.

.... scarlet in late autumn.

Photo from Chris Garnons-Williams on 23 November 2013.

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Plant Label from Mixed Borders at RHS Wisley. Photo from Chris Garnons-Williams on 23 November 2013.

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Plant Label from Bowes-Lyon Rose Garden at RHS Wisley.

This side view of this plant label was located inside this cotinus as shown in the second image below. Great way to inform your visitors about plants, when its plant name is difficult to find.

Photo from Chris Garnons-Williams on 3 August 2013.

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Plant Label from Bowes-Lyon Rose Garden at RHS Wisley. Photo from Chris Garnons-Williams on 3 August 2013.

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Plant Label from expanded image of the prevoius photo from the Bowes-Lyon Rose Garden at RHS Wisley.

The silver of the aluminium support peg leads up to the white edge of the black plant label.

Photo from Chris Garnons-Williams on 3 August 2013.

 

 

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Number of Flower Petals

Petal-less

1

2

3

4

5

Above 5

 

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paeoniamlokosewitschiiflot1a

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acantholimoncfloglumaceumfoord1a

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Flower Shape - Simple

Stars

Bowls

Cups and Saucers

Globes

Goblets and Chalices

Trumpets

Funnels

 

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fuchsiaflotcalicehoffman1a

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Flower Shape - Simple

Bells

Thimbles

Urns

Salverform

 

 

 

 

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acanthusspinosuscflocoblands1

lathyrusflotvernus1

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Flower Shape - Elabor-ated

Tubes, Lips and Straps

Slippers, Spurs and Lockets

Hats, Hoods and Helmets

Stan-dards, Wings and Keels

Discs and Florets

Pin-Cushions

Tufts

 

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Flower Shape - Elabor-ated

Cushion

Umbel

Buttons