Cotinus ‘Grace’ is a lovely smoke bush that stands out in any garden. It has vibrant red spring foliage that keeps it color all summer long, turning an even better red-orange in fall. Leaf color depends very much on the angle of the sun but when it is shining just right the whole plant glows. Leaves that are in shade will take on a dark green color. In summer it produces large dark pink clouds of blooms.
‘Grace’ is a cross between the European smoke bush, Cotinus coggygria ‘Velvet Cloak’ and the American smoke tree, Cotinus obovatus. Some sources list this cross as C. x dummeri, but that is not a commonly used name – it may not be valid.
In my zone 5 garden I see winter dieback on some cultivars of smoke bush, but not this one. It also grows more vigorously than most. If you cut the stems back to ground level on a mature plant it will grow 7 to 8 feet in one summer. New growth is always more colorful, so this is a good way to handle the plant.
This plant is reported to have very large flower clusters, but I have not seen that on mine, which tends to have small clusters. This may be due to fact that mine has never reached full size due to pruning. Leaves show no pest damage.
Life Cycle: shrub
Height: 4 m (12 ft)
Bloom Time: summer
Natural Range: n/a
Cultivation of Cotinus ‘Grace’
Light: full sun
Soil: very adaptable
Water: drought tolerant once established
USDA Hardiness Zone: (?4) 5-9
Propagation: cuttings, layering