Smoke Tree 'Purpureus'

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: Purpureus
Additional cultivar information:(aka Atropurpureus)
Synonym:Cotinus coggygria f. purpureus
Synonym:Cotinus coggygria var. purpureus



Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)


12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

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


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:



Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer



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

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


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


Bessemer, Alabama

Sierra Vista, Arizona

Acton, California

Montgomery Creek, California

Roseville, California

San Leandro, California

Turnerville, Georgia

Chicago, Illinois

New Castle, Indiana

Plymouth, Indiana

Barbourville, Kentucky

East Jordan, Michigan

Howard City, Michigan

Manahawkin, New Jersey

Elba, New York

Murphy, North Carolina

Cleveland, Ohio

Jay, Oklahoma

Norristown, Pennsylvania

Conway, South Carolina

North Augusta, South Carolina

Memphis, Tennessee

Belton, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Oakton, Virginia

Bainbridge Island, Washington

Spokane, Washington

Birchwood, Wisconsin

Elkhorn, Wisconsin

Menasha, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 2, 2013, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant is supposedly a very drought tolerant species, and admittedly I have seen some nice specimens here in the inland, high desert in California where annual rainfall can be as low as 2" a year. But do NOT think it is THAT drought tolerant. When I bought these trees, the planting instructions warned multiple times NOT to overwater these trees and to be sure they were planted in well draining soil (well. the latter here is all we have so that was easy). I watered these trees 3x a week since this is the desert after all.. both trees eventually defoliated. So I upped the water to daily and created huge bowls around them to fill with lakes of water... and they grew back and are doing well. So overwatering these trees as not as easy as it might sound. Those with healthy trees here ... read more


On Aug 27, 2008, anglnwhite from Spokane, WA wrote:

I have a purple smoke tree in the far corner of my yard that literally grew out of nowhere. It's been there for years, is in VERY sandy soil, gets NO water other than what nature provides (which is very little during the summer months) and it flowers every year. This year I had the opportunity to landscape and plant so I went out and took a naturally layered specimen from it to put in a visible part of yard. The single root that came out of the ground with that plant was literally two feet long! After 4 months of nurturing and root growth, I've placed the growing babe into it's permanent place in my backyard. Next year I hope to take another for the front of the house. Smoke trees are tough, beautiful plants.


On Aug 25, 2008, suzmyers from Turnerville, GA (Zone 7a) wrote:

I have a purple and a green variety of the smoke tree in my front yard. They are both in full sun. The first year they did nothing, the second year they bloomed a little and this year the purple variety bloomed incredibly and the green just a little. They are in the middle of my yard and are watered regularly, I don't know how they would do if not watered. This was also the first year they were fertilized. I love these small trees and people that come to visit always comment on them.


On Jul 18, 2006, ronbo41 from Overton, TX wrote:

I have had the plant for about a year. Was told that it required full sun. Planted it in the front which gets full sun until late in the evening. It gets really hot here this time of the year. All the leaves started turning brown. I was in a nursery and the lady there said it needed shade and so it was moved to my back yard where it is mostly shaded. Gets a little sun. The plant is still living but has not grown an inch
since we bought it. I will see how it does in partial shade.

Juear @ Overton, Tx. zone 8


On Dec 9, 2005, bigcityal from Menasha, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:

This is truly an accent shrub for my zone. They rarely will "flower". Mine grew for 2 years with very little growth and last winter died back all the way to the ground and I thought it might be dead, but it proceded to grow 10' this year! Next year - who knows.