Plant Library


Purple Smokebush

Cotinus coggygria 'Atropurpurea'

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Purple Smokebush (Cotinus coggygria 'Atropurpurea') at Pesche's Garden Center

Purple Smokebush in bloom

Purple Smokebush in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Purple Smokebush (Cotinus coggygria 'Atropurpurea') at Pesche's Garden Center

Purple Smokebush foliage

Purple Smokebush foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  15 feet

Spread:  15 feet

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  4b

Other Names:  Smoketree


Beautiful bronzy-purple leaves and billowy puffs of red 'smoke' cover this small tree for a truly unusual and breathtaking effect; brilliant orange and red fall color; a wonderful landscape accent

Ornamental Features

Purple Smokebush features airy plumes of red flowers with orange overtones at the ends of the branches from early to late summer. It has attractive purple-variegated grayish green foliage with hints of coppery-bronze which emerges deep purple in spring. The round leaves are highly ornamental and turn outstanding shades of brick red and orange in the fall.

Landscape Attributes

Purple Smokebush is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Purple Smokebush is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Purple Smokebush will grow to be about 15 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 15 feet. It tends to be a little leggy, with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.

This shrub should only be grown in full sunlight. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under average home landscape conditions. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Accent  Massing  Screening  Garden 
Flowers  Foliage Color  Fall Color 
Ornamental Features