Cotinus Color Mix (Smoke Bush) [15 Seeds]


Germination Information: I recommend these seeds for experienced seed-starters only, because they are apparently very challenging to start and may require patience and experimentation. Some sources recommend pouring near-boiling water over the seeds and letting them soak for a day or two before sowing to help to soften the hard seed coat. Then, sow into a pot of moist growing medium. If you’re sowing in fall to early winter, set the pot outdoors in a spot protected from mice. If sowing in January or after, put the pot in a plastic bag and refrigerate it for 60 to 90 days before moving it to a warm place.

Some other sources that these seeds benefit from a 3-month warm-moist period before the cold-moist period. I’d suggest trying the above chilling approach first. Then, if no seedlings appear the first summer, leave the pot outside through the fall and winter and hope for seedlings the following summer.



so they can get a chilling period and then germinate when conditions are right in spring.

If you sow after January, set the pot in a plastic bag in your refrigerator for about 2 months before moving it to a warm, bright place for germination. (Remove the bag if the pot will be exposed to any direct sun.)

It is possible that these seeds could germinate if you sow them in warm, moist, bright conditions. But if you try that and no seedlings appear in 3 to 4 weeks, then try the refrigerator-chilling approach above before moving them back to warmth and light.

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Smoke tree, or smoke bush, is a deciduous, large shrub or small tree typically 15 to 25 feet tall, with roughly oval leaves and airy, hairy inflorescences that create the “smoke” effect in summer.

I grow several selections here at Hayefield: Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’, with deep purple leaves; C. coggygria Golden Spirit (‘Ancot’), with bright yellow leaves; and ‘Grace’, a hybrid between C. coggygria and C. obovata with grayish pink new leaves that age to a bronzy to purplish green. They don’t set much seed, but I did get some from each this past year and thought it might be interesting to offer them to other adventurous seed-starters. I can’t predict what colors you are likely to get in the seedlings. I kept the seeds of the three selections in this mix separate when I collected them, so if you wish to try seeds of just one or two of the selections, please contact me ( before ordering and I will do my best to meet your request. Full sun to partial shade. Zones 4 to 8.

Harvested in September 2020. At least 15 seeds.


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