Botanical Name: Cotinus coggygria 'Purpureus'
Common Name: Purple Smoketree  
Plant photo of: Cotinus coggygria 'Purpureus'
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Water Saving Tip:

Even though it's hot, your lawn only needs to be watered twice a week to stay healthy.

And don't water the whole lawn for a brown spot—drag out a hose.

  • Anatomy

  • Culture

  • Design

Plant Type

Tree, Shrub


Height Range

6-12', 12-25'


Flower Color



Flower Season



Leaf Color

Green, Purple


Bark Color



Fruit Color



Fruit Season



Full, Half





Growth Rate



Soil Type

Clay, Loam, Rocky


Soil Condition

Average, Rich, Poor, Well-drained, Dry


Soil pH



Adverse Factors


Design Styles

English Cottage, Mediterranean, Ranch, Spanish


Accenting Features

Fall Color, Showy Flowers, Unusual Foliage


Seasonal Interest

Summer, Fall


Location Uses

Background, Shrub Border, Foundation, Walls / Fences


Special Uses

Cut Flowers, Screen


Attracts Wildlife


Information by: Stephanie Duer
Photographer: Steve Mullany, Connon N.
  • Description

  • Notes

Purple Smoketree is a deciduous shrub with a multi-stemmed, upright habit, growing about 12 to 15 feet tall and wide. Can be pruned to be a small tree. Leaves emerge a deep maroon purple and fade to dark green; fall color is orange to purple. Panicles of wispy dark pink appear in the summer after spring flowering, creating a billowing, soft effect.
Grow in full sun and well-drained soils; tolerates wide range of soils except wet, poorly-drained ones. Prefers somewhat infertile loams, but also does well in poor, rocky soils. Shallow fibrous root system makes it hard to grow anything but shallow-rooted groundcovers underneath. If bloom is not a concern, stems may be cut back hard in early spring each year to induce growth of vigorous new shoots with slightly larger than normal leaves. Such hard annual prunings will control size, but most likely at the expense of profuse flowering. Hard pruning is more often done on the purple-leaved cultivars as new foliage usually has the brightest color..