Cotinus 'Grace'
Smoketree
 
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Family: Cashew Family (Anacardiaceae)
Native Habitat: Hybrid of garden origin
   

'Grace' is a wonderful hybrid that resulted from crosses made at England's Hillier Nurseries in the late 1970's. You may be familiar with the term "hybrid vigor". 'Grace' certainly has a lot of that. A hybrid between the European Smoketree, Cotinus coggygria, and the American Smoketree, Cotinus obovatus, it displays some of the best characteristics of each, plus a carefree and vigorous constitution.

Foliage color is marvelous spring thru fall. In spring, the leaves emerge deep red and then gradually fade to soft-purple. Mature leaves are a lovely smoky gray-blue and make a terrific foil for the mid-summer display of smoke-like flower panicles. Fall color is spectacular with shades of red, orange, and gold on display for many weeks. The "smokes" are the most spectacular we've seen on any Smoketree. They're huge (often over 1 ft. long and wide), nicely pink tinted, and produced in amazing abundance. The plant pictured at right occupies a dramatic site in our display gardens and has been marveled at many times by visitors over the years.

It is not a plant for small gardens. It should be considered a large shrub or small tree and placed accordingly. If you have the room, it is one of the most dramatic plants you could add to your garden.

 
Ornamental Characteristics: New foliage changes from red to soft-purple and then ages to a beautiful gray-blue. Huge, pink, smoke-like flower panicles in mid-summer. Excellent fall color: shades of red, orange and gold.
Habit & Growth Rate: Deciduous, upright, loosely branched, multi-stemmed shrub or small tree growing to.15 ft. high and wide. Medium-fast growth rate.
Landscape Uses: Shrub border. Specimen plant. Deer resistant.
Hardiness: Zone 5 to 8
Culture: Full sun to light shade. Average to well-drained soils.