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Plant of the week - Cotinus

16 July 2013
Plant of the week - Cotinus

Who needs flowers for rich, sumptuous colour? The deep, burgundy leaves of a Cotinus mean you'll never be short of something spectacular to look at. Also known as the smoke bush, those deliciously vibrant leaves are topped with clouds of pink flowers in late summer: the leaves also turn scarlet before falling in autumn.

'Grace' is probably the best known, and the largest at about 6m tall. Others to try are 'Royal Purple', with the deepest coloured leaves, or bluey-green 'Flame', which turns fiery orange in autumn. If you haven't much space, Cotinus respond well to pruning, and often put out extra-large leaves in return.