Royal Purple Smokebush (Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’)

Royal Purple Smokebush

  • Incredible Ornamental Features
  • Rich, Bold Color All Season Long
  • Airy Pinky-Purple Flower Panicles Float High Above the Leaves
  • Vibrant Purple Foliage Glows in the Sun
  • Long History of Use in the United States
  • Distinctive Sculptural Habit
  • Drought Tolerant Once Established
  • Easy Care

Get visitors to your garden talking with one of the most striking landscape shrubs available. These special shrubs have a long history of being appreciated. Even George Washington noted their outstanding features!

If you love rich, deep color, you’ll love Royal Purple Smokebush, (Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’). The pretty, rounded leaves glow burgundy red in the full sunlight. They’ll stay beautiful and velvety throughout the growing season.

Airy, pinky-purple panicles start blooming in mid-summer. Each panicle consists of extremely tiny blossoms growing along an 8-inch cluster of delicate, wire-like stems. As the blooms age, downy hairs also develop and billow out to increase the showy visual impact.

They float high above the leaves in a misty plume. From a distance, you’ll enjoy the dramatic visual effect of a “cloud of smoke”. The display remains attractive through fall.

Royal Purple Smokebush naturally forms an upright, low-branched, spreading shrub. Try it in your shrub border to give a strong dash of color all season from spring through frost.

Use one in the front yard as a specimen, if you feel up for some conversation. You’ll need to get ready to answer questions from curious passersby. Go ahead, take credit for your good taste and discernment!

Smokebush is a purple-leaved shrub that looks fantastic all growing season long. They’ll be a focal point in summer with their unique blooms, and add warmth to other fall colors as the season comes to a close.

Easy to grow, this deciduous shrub is a must-have for a memorable accent plant in your yard. Add Royal Purple Smokebush to your landscape this season!

How to Use Royal Purple Smokebush in the Landscape

With incredible deep purple foliage all season long and smoky clouds of bloom, you’ll be tempted to give this shrub a starring role in your garden design. Use one as a specimen plant to create a memorable impact.

Plant one at the corner of your house to anchor your foundation planting. Try this in your backyard, too. These dynamic, dark-colored shrubs will become an important design element.

They pair beautifully with Ornamental Grasses and narrow columnar evergreen Junipers or Hollies. Add them as a large colorful backdrop to smaller shrubs, perennials and grasses in a garden border.

Have a “utility” area in your landscape that you’d like to hide? Why not plant several Smokebushes 7 feet apart on center?

They’ll grow together and create an outstanding garden feature in your landscape while screening the ugly view. Measure from the center of one to the center of the next.

Use this same idea to create a “vista” or view from your deck or patio. Plant several Smokebushes in a sunny planting bed near your property line.

Site it carefully, so you can gain strategic privacy along with an incredible summertime show! Leave the lowest limbs on the shrub for a lush screen all the way to the ground.

Snip a few of the flowering branches to use in indoor cut flower arrangements. You’ll love the chance to study the flowers up close.

Tips for Care

While the Royal Purple Smokebush can technically survive a location partial shade, there will be an impact on the foliage. The leaves are greener in shade, and a rich maroon red in full sun.

Make the most of the stunning foliage. Select a planting location where it will receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight.

It prefers well-drained soil that doesn’t retain water for long. Good air circulation is another important consideration. Please don’t plant too close to buildings, fences or walls.

Sometimes called the Royal Purple Smoke Tree, it will naturally form a large shrub or small tree over time. Allow this shrub to reach its full glory! Plan for the full mature height and width.

It’s versatile enough to be limbed up to use as a multi-stemmed patio tree. Prune lower branches back to the main trunks in early spring to shape this special feature.

These large, open shrubs can also be renewal pruned occasionally to develop vigorous new shoots and a tighter growth habit. Cut older stems back to a foot tall in spring. You’ll sacrifice the year’s blooms, but will appreciate the improved form.

Apply a 3-inch layer of wood chip mulch around the plant to keep the root system cool and moist. Pull mulch bach from around the woody stems by at least 6 inches for proper air circulation.

Enjoy the high contrast good looks of the Royal Purple Smokebush. You’ll love this fine choice for many years to come!

Royal Purple Smokebush (Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’) Details

Common name Royal Purple Smokebush
Botanical name Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple'
Plant type Deciduous
Hardiness zone 4-8
Growth rate Medium
Height 12 - 15 ft.
Width 10 - 12 ft.
Sunlight Full Sun
Moisture Medium
Soil condition Well Drained
Pollinator-friendly No
Pruning time Early Spring
Flower color Pink, Purple
Leaf color Decidous