Smoke Tree –
The fantastic ‘Royal Purple’ smokebush displays dark, dusty burgundy to purple leaves in spring and summer that turn crimson in autumn. These create the perfect background for its large puffs of burgundy purple smoke.
At its showiest, few shrubs are as pretty and effusive as the common smokebush. Its small flowers produce puffy ivory, pink or purple clouds of smoky fruits that persist for a couple of weeks before dissipating. It does not become too large and may be multi-trunked and shrubby or single-trunked and tree-like. Originating from southern Europe to eastern China, it naturally exists along hillside forests and mountain thickets. With age, most specimens will develop rounded, open crowns.
The rounded, medium blue-green leaves of common smokebush are attractive, distinctive and turn shades of yellow, orange and red in fall. Some cultivars even sport showstopping gold, purple or burgundy foliage throughout the growing season. In summer, large panicles of inconspicuous flowers appear followed by long, curled, densely-packed, hair-like fruits that look like large puffs of smoke. These are highly ornamental and may be ivory, dusty green, pink, dusty rose or purple.
Common smokebush prefers sites with full sun to partial shade and moderately fertile to rocky, poor well-drained soil. It is quite slow growing, and has strong limbs that resist breaking, so pruning is rarely required. Pests and disease problems are few but it may succumb to leaf spots—particularly in humid, moist weather. Occasionally, leaf rollers are a problem. Plant common smokebush as a small street tree, in shrub borders or as a specimen plant.
Winchester Gardens generally stocks this item.
Red, Purple, Burgundy, Crimson
The smoketree is very easy to grow and drought resistant as well. It prefers well drained or dry soil conditions and full sun but can also tolerate partial shade conditions. A single tree can act as a focal point or feature in the garden; when planted in groups of three or more, smoketrees can make a very vibrant display as a hedge or colorful backdrop for your other garden plantings.
Be sure to dig your hole at least twice as wide as the container size and mix in a shovelful of compost when planting. When setting your plant, be sure that the top of the root ball is slightly higher than the grade surrounding the perimeter of the dug hole. Fill the remainder of the hole with well drained soil and water.
Once established, a heavy spring pruning can help force the most colorful new growth for a display of color and multiple shoots. Keep in mind that dry summer conditions promote a very showy and vibrant fall color to your smoketree. `Royal Purple´ variety is well known for its deep purple foliage and red-purple autumn fall color. The new growth of `Golden Spirit´ emerges bright gold, changing to lime green in summer and shades of orange and red in fall.