T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network

Cotinus coggygria (Smokebush)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Anacardiaceae
Genus: Cotinus
Species: C. coggygria
Binomial name: Cotinus coggygria
Synonym: Rhus cotinus
Common names: Smokebush, European smoketree, Eurasian smoketree, Smoke tree, Smoke bush, Dyer's sumach, Royal Purple

Cotinus coggygria is a large deciduous shrubs or small tree native to a large area from southern Europe, east across central Asia and the Himalayas to northern China.
It is a multiple-branching shrub growing to 5–7 m tall with an open, spreading, irregular habit, only rarely forming a small tree. The leaves are 3-8 cm long rounded ovals, green with a waxy glaucous sheen. The autumn colour can be strikingly varied, from peach and yellow to scarlet. The flowers are numerous, produced in large inflorescences 15–30 cm long; each flower 5-10 mm diameter, with five pale yellow petals. Most of the flowers in each inflorescence abort, elongating into yellowish-pink to pinkish-purple feathery plumes (when viewed en masse these have a wispy 'smoke-like' appearance, hence the common name) which surround the small (2-3 mm) drupaceous fruit that do develop.

It is commonly grown as an ornamental plant, with several cultivars available. Many of these have been selected for purple foliage and flowers. The species and its cultivars 'Royal Purple' and 'Flame' have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit
The wood was formerly used to make the yellow dye called young fustic.

Photos below are of the cultivar.'Royal Purple' which grows to about 5m. It has rounded, deep purple leaves becoming redder in autumn. Large feathery, pink inflorescences appear during summer. 

A new leaf that is a darker colour.

The small fruit.

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information     http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/