Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple'
Garden Plant Information

Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple'


Cotinus coggygria in its first year

Cotinus coggygria in its first year



Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’ (also called smoke tree and smoke bush)






‘Royal Purple’

General description

Large shrub with rich purple leaves and sprays of tiny flowers in summer. For extra effect, plant so that sunlight can shine through the leaves. The leaves take on rich red shades before dropping in late autumn.

Season of interest

Purple leaves in summer, turning red in autumn. Clusters of tiny flowers in summer give a smoke-like impression.

Key horticultural features

  1. Upright, rounded, dense foliage. H&S: 5m.

  2. Leaves – rounded oval, smooth edged, dark purple sometimes with a grey-ish sheen and red leaf edges.

  3. Stems – rounded, grey-brown. Younger growth is tinged with red.

  4. Flowers – dense cluster of tiny white flowers give the plant the appearance of giving off puffs of dark pink smoke.

Cultural details


Does best in full sun.


Moderately-fertile, moist, well-drained soil.




To promote the growth of larger leaves, cut the stems back to within two or three buds of the base in early spring. Afterwards, mulch well with compost or manure.


Can be susceptible to verticillium wilt, but is generally pest free.


Cuttings of half-ripe wood in summer or sow seed as soon as it is ripe – germination may be slow, taking up to 12 months. The plant is dioecious so male and female must be planted if seed is required.