Smoke Bush Varieties: 15 Varieties to Consider Planting

Growing smoke bushes is a great way to beautify your property and attract pollinators and wildlife to your yard. They are known for their bright red or yellow leaves. Most varieties can be grown as shrubs, but others make excellent hedges. This article will introduce you to some of the most beautiful smoke bush varieties.

Smoke bush varieties

Smoke Bush Varieties

There are many types of smoke bushes; they are deciduous shrubs that like well-draining soil and make a great backdrop for other plants. These plants get their name from the hazy pink or white flowers that bloom throughout summer. 

They do well in USDA zones 4 to 8 and can grow 4 to 30 feet tall, depending on the variety. There are two categories of smoke bush, the American smoke tree, which has the botanical name Cotinus coggygria, and the European smoke bush (C. coggygria).

Here are some of the most common smoke bush varieties:

1. Smoke tree ‘winecraft gold’ 

This plant has glossy green leaves that will brighten up any landscape. They are lime green in color and turn bright yellow to orange in the fall. 

The shrub is fast-growing and can be planted as a bush, but it is also effective in the form of a small tree as it can grow up to 6 feet tall. In spring, it produces delicate green flowers that turn pink throughout summer. The interesting coloration makes it ideal for attracting birds, butterflies, and other wildlife.

2. Smoke bush ‘velvet cloak’ 

This plant has dark purple foliage and is grown for its ornamental value. It has round leaves that turn a maroon red in the fall. In summer, it bears clusters of tiny pink flowers. This plant grows quickly and is well-suited for smaller yards.

3. Smoke bush ‘winecraft black’ 

This plant has a rounded habit that makes a beautiful shrub or small tree for the garden. It features maroon leaves which turn red-purple and then black in the fall. 

4. Smoke tree ‘golden spirit’ 

This variety bears clusters of golden-yellow leaves that turn to an orange or coral in fall. In spring, it produces pink-purple flowers that are well loved by butterflies. The shrub requires a sunny location and has a moderate growth rate.

5. Smoke bush ‘velvet fog’ 

The ‘velvet fog’ smoke bush produces blue-green leaves and slightly larger flowers than other varieties. This variety is less hardy than other types of smoke bush and should only be grown in zones 5 to 8. 

6. Smoke bush ‘purple’ 

smoke bush varieties

This variety has maroon leaves and beautiful flowers that start off purple and fade to light pink by the end of the growing season. The ‘royal purple’ is a larger variety that are grown for its ornamental value but also make a great privacy tree. 

7. Smoke tree ‘Grace’ 

The smoke tree grace has glossy green leaves that look slightly maroon. In summer, it bears clusters of bronze-pink flowers with a light fragrance. The plant grows well in full sun and is particularly good at attracting butterflies and birds.

8. Smoke tree ‘nordine’ 

Nordine is a shrub that grows well in a colder climate and can reach a height of 15 feet. This smoke bush variety has beautiful bronze or orange leaves depending on the time of year. The plant grows quickly and is easy to maintain once established.

9. Smoke bush ‘nottcut’ 

This shrub is a hybrid variety that was bred in Suffolk, England, in 1915. It has oval, red, and purple leaves that turn to a bright orange in fall. In spring, it produces clusters of sweetly scented pink.

10. Smoke bush ‘pink champagne’ 

This smoke bush variety bears green leaves with pink edges. In the fall, they take on a vivid orange hue that looks like burning embers.

11. Smoke bush ‘royal purple’ 

As the name suggests, this shrub has attractive purple leaves, which turn red in the fall. The plant grows quickly, reaching a height of around 15 feet at maturity. It blooms throughout the summer months with small pink flowers that have yellow tips. 

12. Purple supreme smoke tree 

If you’re looking for a smaller tree to add to your yard, the ‘purple supreme’ is a great choice. This tree is fairly compact, reaching a height of around 8 feet when fully grown. This shrub has red-purple leaves that turn to a vibrant scarlet color in fall and produces long lasting pink flowers in summer. 

13. Smoke tree ‘American cottoncandy’ 

The American cotton candy smoke tree is also known as a northstar smoke bush. The plant has light blue leaves that turn orange in fall. In summer, it produces an eye-catching display of pink flowers and is well suited for smaller yards as it grows between 6 and 10 feet in height. This variety can also be grown as a hedge. 

14. Smoke tree ‘young lady’ 

The young lady smoke tree is perfect for anyone who has a small yard. This shrub is one of the smallest smoke trees available and grows to just 4 feet in height. This variety has light green leaves that turn yellow and orange in fall. It also has unique yellow blooms in the summer months. 

15. Smoke Bush ‘flame’ 

The smoke bush flame has shiny orange leaves that turn to a deep red in fall. It produces clusters of fragrant pink flowers and attracts butterflies, bees, and birds with its showy blooms.


If you are looking for an attractive shrub that is easy to care for and thrives in a variety of climates, the smoke bush may be the perfect choice. There are many different varieties of smoke bushes available, each with its own unique features and characteristics.

Whether you want a plant that produces light pink flowers or vibrant orange leaves, these shrubs will add color and interest to your yard year-round.