Its dark, purple-red leaves contrast dramatically with other shrubs and perennials, and purple smokebush is spectacular as a specimen on its own.
Why plant it: Its tiny spring blooms change to lacey, plumelike seed clusters by summer, creating a cloud of "smoke" throughout the plant.
This deciduous shrub can be cut to the ground every two to three years in early spring to create vigorous new shoots that have the largest leaves with the boldest foliage color.
Where: Purple smokebush thrives in full sun to light shade, although the leaves are greener in shade. Plant in a location with well-drained soil and provide occasional watering during dry weather.
Size: It can grow awkwardly as a young plant, but will become fuller as it matures. With minimal pruning it will naturally form a large shrub or small tree over time, appoximately 15-by-15 feet.
Learn more: www.greatplantpicks.org.
More Home and Garden Headlines
Plant of Merit: Echinacea “Cheyenne Spirit” Weathervanes were about more than just which way the wind was blowing Ikea 2016: Sunny with a chance of meatballs The future kitchen in an age of scarcity Home & Garden calendar Ideas to organize your pantry cabinet Garden clubs It's time to start thinking about fall veggies
Our to-do list full of ideas for your weekend
Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.