Cotinus Coggyria

cotinus coggryia royal purple

 

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

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.

 

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