Cotinus Coggyria ‘ Royal Purple’:
We love plants that aren’t green, not only because they add some colour to your garden, but because Nature doesn’t just ‘do’ green so neither should we!
This variety is slightly smaller than some of the Cotinus, and so is perfect in a small garden – you do have to give it a bit of a clip to keep it to shape though, which is best done in spring.
This is called the smoke bush, as it has grey flower plumes in summer, but it’s best just before the leaves drop in winter with low sunshine highlighting the colours.
Cotinus Coggyria; Smoke Bush:
This does sound a bit like an infectious disease of the digestion, but it is actually one of my favourite plants. As anyone who reads my ramblings will know, I love plants that are not green, this one has plum coloured leaves, and if you can get the sun shining through the leaves, they really take on a sunset glow.
Cotinus Coggyria and sunshine
It can get big, so you have to be prepared to get the loppers out, otherwise you have lots of bare branches and a few leaves at the ends. I have cut mine almost back to a stump and back it comes ( don’t do this regularly though). Hard pruning really just keeps the nice bits of the plant where you want them, rather than several feet in the air.
In summer it has frothy flower heads that are purply grey, and give this plant it’s common name – smoke bush. It really acts as a great foil for other plants especially silver and grey ones, but you can surround it with so many different colours, mine has a pale pink rose that flowers next to it in late spring one side, a giant silver Cardoon the other and in late autumn a chocolate brown Eupatorium comes up, just before the Cotinus drops its leaves in Winter, so a really really useful plant.