The Cotinus genus consists of two species of which one C.coggygria is used for bonsai cultivation. C. coggygria is a deciduous tree with oval mid-green leaves up to 7cm long that turn yellow, orange and red in Autumn. The Smoke Tree originates from an area that spreads from the Mediterranean to Central China where it reaches heights of up to only 5 metres. The Smoke Tree takes its name from the panicles of flowers it produces which slowly turn to fawn and grey tones resembling smoke. There are a few varieties of Cotinus coggygria available now that carry different coloured flowers including Cotinus coggygria Purpureus that has purple/pink blooms.
Bonsai cultivation notes
Position Full sun or partial shade. Some frost protection required from temperatures below -5°C.
Feeding Every two weeks from Spring until late Summer.
Repotting Every one or two years as buds extend in basic soil mix.
Pruning Trim to shape.
Propagation Sow seed outside in Autumn. Layer in Spring. Root softwood cuttings in Summer.
Pests and diseases Susceptible to Verticillium wilt. Purple forms can be affected by mildew.
Styles Informal upright in single or multiple trunk styles in medium to extra large sizes.