Best of the bunch

Macclesfield Express - - LEISURE -

●● Smoke Bush (Cot­i­nus) THIS de­cid­u­ous tree-like shrub of­fers a cloud of tiny pur­plepink flow­ers in late sum­mer, which is where the name ‘smoke bush’ comes from, but it’s an all-round win­ner for much of the year be­cause of its im­pres­sive oval pur­ple leaves which turn a bril­liant red in late au­tumn.

The plum-coloured smoke bush Cot­i­nus cog­gy­gria ‘Royal Pur­ple’ makes an ex­cel­lent back­drop for other flow­er­ing plants with con­trast­ing colour blooms such as or­ange tulips. How­ever, I think it’s best grown as a showy spec­i­men shrub to show off its haze of flow­ers in June and its bril­liant leaf colour in au­tumn.

The smoke bush will grow in any rea­son­able gar­den soil, but prefers full sun. Re­move un­wanted branches in spring.

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