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Smoke Tree 'Velvet Cloak'

Cotinus coggygria

Family: Anacardiaceae (an-a-kard-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cotinus (ko-TYE-nus) (Info)
Species: coggygria (kog-GY-gree-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Velvet Cloak



Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)


USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Seed is poisonous if ingested

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:



Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer



Good Fall Color

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From softwood cuttings

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Anniston, Alabama

Gurley, Alabama

Paradise, California

Ridgecrest, California

Marietta, Georgia

Aurora, Illinois

West Chicago, Illinois

Winnetka, Illinois

Indianapolis, Indiana

Birmingham, Michigan

Cedarville, Michigan

Columbus, Ohio

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Industry, Pennsylvania

Kintnersville, Pennsylvania

East Greenwich, Rhode Island

Tremonton, Utah

Manassas, Virginia

Williamsburg, Virginia

Ames Lake, Washington

Bremerton, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 21, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

A superb shrub for its burgundy leaf color, which shines like stained glass when back-lit by the sun.

Adaptable, easy, and vigorous where happy. Requires good drainage. Performs best in full sun but will tolerate part shade.

Uniquely versatile in its shape---can be coppiced or pollarded or grown as a standard, or you can change your mind and transform it through hard pruning in early spring, once it's been in the ground at least 3 years (time enough for the root system to develop). Spring-pruned stems will not flower or "smoke", but I think that's a small loss.

The flowers are yellow, but they're small and not very showy. The hairy infructescences constitute the pinkish purple "smoke".

Propagated by rooting cuttings. Seed-propaga... read more


On Jun 21, 2012, joepic from Industry, PA wrote:

I planted the tree in 2010 and I have not seen any type of flowering or plumes since then


On May 23, 2012, dima from Berlin,
Germany wrote:

Have a Velvet Cloak near the terrasse since more than 10 years. Could it be that it does distant gnats and flies ?
It seems so.
Interested to hear similar experiance!.