Smoketree (Cotinus Coggygria ‘Ancot’ GOLDEN SPIRIT)

Plant: Table of Contents

Plant Scientist Blog: All About Smoketree (Cotinus coggygria ‘Ancot’ GOLDEN SPIRIT)


Welcome to the world of plant science, where we explore the fascinating realm of flora for both aesthetic and practical purposes. Today, we delve into the captivating characteristics and cultivation of the Smoketree (Cotinus coggygria ‘Ancot’ GOLDEN SPIRIT). This unique plant offers a plethora of features that make it a desirable addition to gardens and landscapes. Throughout this post, we will analyze the culture, uses, care tips, and much more, providing valuable insights for enthusiasts and horticultural professionals alike.

What is Plant Smoketree (Cotinus coggygria ‘Ancot’ GOLDEN SPIRIT)?

The Smoketree, scientifically known as Cotinus coggygria ‘Ancot’ GOLDEN SPIRIT, is a deciduous shrub that belongs to the Anacardiaceae family. It is celebrated for its striking foliage and unique flowering characteristics, making it a popular choice for ornamental landscaping. The ‘Golden Spirit’ cultivar is particularly renowned for its vibrant golden-yellow leaves, which impart a sense of warmth and radiance to outdoor spaces.

Key Takeaways – Smoketree (Cotinus coggygria ‘Ancot’ GOLDEN SPIRIT)

  1. Cotinus coggygria ‘Ancot’ GOLDEN SPIRIT
  2. Smoketree plant
  3. Cotinus coggygria cultivar
  4. GOLDEN SPIRIT smoketree
  5. Smoketree varieties
  6. Cotinus coggygria ‘Ancot’
  7. Golden Spirit smoketree care
  8. Smoketree pruning tips
  9. Growing smoketree plants
  10. Cotinus coggygria ‘Ancot’ characteristics
  11. Smoketree landscaping ideas
  12. Best uses for Cotinus coggygria ‘Ancot’
  13. Golden Spirit smoketree foliage
  14. Cotinus coggygria ‘Ancot’ growth habits
  15. Smoketree plant maintenance
  16. GOLDEN SPIRIT smoketree features
  17. Recommended companion plants for Cotinus coggygria
  18. Smoketree blooming season
  19. Cotinus coggygria ‘Ancot’ landscape design
  20. Golden Spirit smoketree pruning techniques
  21. Smoketree watering requirements
  22. Cotinus coggygria ‘Ancot’ disease resistance
  23. Golden Spirit smoketree sunlight needs
  24. Smoketree soil preferences
  25. Growing Cotinus coggygria ‘Ancot’ in containers
  26. Golden Spirit smoketree hardiness
  27. Smoketree pest control methods
  28. Cotinus coggygria ‘Ancot’ fall color
  29. Golden Spirit smoketree winter care
  30. Smoketree propagation techniques
  31. Cotinus coggygria ‘Ancot’ landscape uses
  32. Golden Spirit smoketree pollinator-friendly attributes
  33. Smoketree pruning schedule
  34. Cotinus coggygria ‘Ancot’ native habitat
  35. Golden Spirit smoketree water-wise planting
  36. Smoketree container gardening ideas
  37. Cotinus coggygria ‘Ancot’ drought-tolerant qualities
  38. Golden Spirit smoketree soil amendments
  39. Smoketree companion planting tips
  40. Cotinus coggygria ‘Ancot’ ornamental features
  41. Golden Spirit smoketree wildlife-friendly aspects
  42. Smoketree disease prevention measures
  43. Cotinus coggygria ‘Ancot’ landscape focal point
  44. Golden Spirit smoketree flowering period
  45. Smoketree leaf spot prevention
  46. Cotinus coggygria ‘Ancot’ low-maintenance plant
  47. Golden Spirit smoketree wind tolerance
  48. Smoketree leaf color variations
  49. Cotinus coggygria ‘Ancot’ container plant care
  50. Golden Spirit smoketree pruning guidelines


The culture of the Smoketree encompasses various aspects, including its native habitat, growth habits, and landscape design potential. Understanding the cultural requirements of this plant is crucial for ensuring its optimal health and vitality.

Native Habitat and Growth Habits

The Smoketree (Cotinus coggygria ‘Ancot’ GOLDEN SPIRIT) is native to southern Europe, central China, and the Himalayas, where it thrives in open woodlands and rocky hillsides. It displays a sturdy growth habit, forming a large shrub or small tree that can reach heights of 10 to 15 feet (3 to 4.5 meters) with a similar spread. Its natural habitat provides valuable insights into its preferred growing conditions, which can be replicated in cultivation settings to promote its well-being.

Landscape Design Potential

Given its impressive size and visually striking foliage, the Smoketree holds significant potential in landscape design. It serves as a standout focal point, lending a sense of drama and elegance to garden beds, borders, and mixed shrubbery plantings. Its vibrant golden-yellow leaves contrast beautifully with other green foliage, creating eye-catching compositions that enhance the overall aesthetic appeal of outdoor spaces.


The Smoketree is primarily valued for its ornamental attributes, which extend across various uses in gardening and landscaping. Understanding these uses is essential for harnessing the full potential of this captivating plant.

Ornamental Features

The pinnacle of the Smoketree’s appeal lies in its ornamental features, particularly its foliage and flowers. The ‘GOLDEN SPIRIT’ cultivar, in particular, is renowned for its exquisite golden-yellow leaves, which infuse landscapes with warmth and brightness. These leaves undergo intriguing color transformations throughout the seasons, transitioning from vivid golden hues in spring to vibrant orange and red tones in autumn. Furthermore, its unique smoke-like inflorescences, borne in early summer, add an ethereal quality to the plant, creating an enchanting display.

Landscape Enhancements

As a landscape plant, the Smoketree offers versatile applications, whether as a standalone specimen or as part of mixed plantings. Its bold foliage and distinctive flowering characteristics make it an ideal candidate for accentuating garden borders, creating visual interest in foundation plantings, and even serving as an anchor in larger naturalized landscapes. Additionally, its drought tolerance and adaptability to various soil types broaden its potential in different gardening scenarios.

Care Tips

Effectively caring for the Smoketree involves understanding its specific needs in terms of water, sunlight, soil, fertilizer, pruning, and propagation. By providing the proper care, enthusiasts can ensure the plant’s vigor and longevity, maximizing its ornamental value.


The Smoketree exhibits moderate water needs, particularly during its establishment phase and in periods of prolonged drought. Adequate moisture is essential for promoting healthy growth and vibrant foliage. While established plants demonstrate good drought tolerance, providing regular watering during dry spells aids in sustaining their overall well-being.


This plant thrives in full sun to partial shade, demonstrating a preference for well-lit environments. Full sun exposure promotes the development of its characteristic foliage colors, intensifying the golden-yellow tones that define the ‘GOLDEN SPIRIT’ variety. However, it can also tolerate partial shade, making it adaptable to a range of lighting conditions in various landscapes.


The Smoketree favors well-draining soils with a slightly acidic to neutral pH. It is adaptable to different soil textures, including loamy, sandy, and clayey soils, provided they offer good drainage. Amending compacted or poorly-draining soils with organic matter can improve their overall suitability for supporting healthy Smoketree growth.


While not excessively demanding in terms of fertility, the Smoketree benefits from periodic fertilization to support its vigorous growth and foliar development. A balanced, slow-release fertilizer applied in early spring can provide the necessary nutrients for the plant to thrive throughout the growing season.


Pruning plays a crucial role in shaping the Smoketree’s growth and enhancing its ornamental appeal. Conducting selective pruning in late winter or early spring helps maintain a desirable form and size, while also encouraging the development of new growth and prolific flowering. Removing dead or damaged wood, as well as crossing or overcrowded branches, contributes to the overall health and aesthetics of the plant.


The Smoketree can be propagated through various methods, including softwood cuttings, hardwood cuttings, and seed propagation. Softwood cuttings, taken in late spring or early summer, yield successful results with appropriate rooting hormone and optimal environmental conditions. Hardwood cuttings taken during dormancy can also give rise to new plants. Seed propagation, while feasible, may result in variability in characteristics compared to vegetative propagation methods.

Container Cultivation

The Smoketree can be successfully grown in containers, making it an appealing option for patio or urban gardens. When cultivated in pots, it is essential to ensure adequate drainage and provide regular watering and fertilization to support its growth. Container-grown Smoketrees should be monitored for moisture levels and provided with suitable conditions for their root systems to thrive.


The Smoketree (Cotinus coggygria ‘Ancot’ GOLDEN SPIRIT) has gained widespread popularity among gardening enthusiasts and landscaping professionals for its exceptional ornamental qualities and adaptability to varying environmental conditions. Its rising popularity is informed by its remarkable features and versatility in different landscape settings.

Ornamental Appeal

The breathtaking foliage of the Smoketree, particularly in the ‘GOLDEN SPIRIT’ variety, contributes significantly to its growing popularity. Its striking golden-yellow leaves, coupled with its smoke-like inflorescences, create a captivating visual display that endears it to horticultural enthusiasts seeking distinctive plants for their outdoor spaces. The plant’s ability to transition through multiple color phases, from spring to fall, further enhances its allure.

Versatile Landscaping Applications

The Smoketree’s adaptability to various landscaping scenarios has contributed to its increasing popularity as a sought-after ornamental shrub. Whether used as a focal point, a complementary element in mixed plantings, or as part of expansive naturalized landscapes, its versatility enables it to be integrated into diverse garden designs. Its ability to withstand urban environments and its low maintenance requirements further contribute to its appeal in modern landscaping projects.

Common Diseases and Pest Control

While the Smoketree is generally considered a low-maintenance plant, it can still be susceptible to certain diseases and pests. Recognizing these potential issues and employing effective disease prevention and pest control measures is essential for preserving the plant’s health and vigor.

Common Diseases

The Smoketree may be vulnerable to certain diseases, including powdery mildew, Cercospora leaf spot, and anthracnose. Powdery mildew, characterized by a white powdery coating on foliage, can be addressed through cultural practices such as adequate airflow and spacing between plants, as well as the use of fungicidal sprays if necessary. Cercospora leaf spot and anthracnose, which manifest as leaf spotting and browning, can be managed through proper sanitation and removal of affected foliage.

Disease Diagnosis and Prevention

Regular monitoring for signs of disease, including leaf discoloration, spots, or unusual growth patterns, is crucial for early diagnosis and intervention. By promptly addressing any disease symptoms, gardeners can prevent the spreading of infections and protect the overall health of their Smoketree plants.

Common Pests

Potential pests that may affect the Smoketree include caterpillars, scale insects, and aphids. These pests can cause damage to foliage and affect the plant’s vigor if left unchecked. Employing integrated pest management techniques, such as manual removal of pests, horticultural oils, or insecticidal soaps, can effectively control their populations and minimize their impact on the plant.

Botanist’s Tips

To enhance the success of cultivating and maintaining the Smoketree (Cotinus coggygria ‘Ancot’ GOLDEN SPIRIT), consider incorporating the following botanist’s tips to maximize its ornamental value and resilience.

Cultural Considerations

Understanding the natural habitat and growth habits of the Smoketree is essential for creating suitable growing conditions in cultivation settings. Mimicking its preferred environments, such as open woodlands and well-drained hillsides, can optimize its overall health and performance in gardens and landscapes.

Foliage and Flowering Enhancement

Harness the potential of the Smoketree’s ornamental features by providing adequate sunlight and appropriate soil amendments to support vibrant foliage colors and abundant flowering. Utilize the plant’s natural beauty as a focal point or accent within the landscape for maximum visual impact.

Disease and Pest Vigilance

Regularly inspect the Smoketree for signs of disease or pest infestations, implementing preventive measures as needed to maintain its vitality. Vigilance against common issues such as powdery mildew and aphids can contribute to the long-term health and aesthetics of the plant.

Seasonal Maintenance

Engage in seasonal pruning and maintenance practices to shape the Smoketree’s growth, remove damaged or diseased wood, and promote its overall vigor. By adhering to a regular maintenance schedule, the plant’s form and health can be effectively managed across different stages of growth.

Fun Facts

To further appreciate the allure of the Smoketree, consider the following fun facts that highlight its unique attributes and cultural significance:

Ethereal Flowering Display

The Smoketree’s name stems from its ethereal flowering display, which resembles billowing clouds of smoke when its numerous tiny blossoms open en masse. This phenomenon creates a spellbinding visual effect that captivates onlookers and adds a touch of enchantment to outdoor settings.

Historical Symbolism

In various cultures and traditions, the Smoketree has been associated with symbolism and cultural significance. In some regions, it is revered for its medicinal properties, while in others, it is celebrated for its ornamental value and symbolic representation of transformation and vibrancy.

Ecological Significance

Beyond its ornamental appeal, the Smoketree holds ecological significance as a valuable resource for pollinators and wildlife. Its nectar-rich flowers attract bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects, contributing to the overall biodiversity and ecological balance of its surrounding environment.

Links to External Resources

For further exploration of the Smoketree (Cotinus coggygria ‘Ancot’ GOLDEN SPIRIT) and related horticultural topics, the following external resources provide valuable insights and additional information:

  1. Royal Horticultural Society – Cotinus coggygria ‘Ancot’ GOLDEN SPIRIT
  2. Missouri Botanical Garden – Cotinus coggygria
  3. The American Phytopathological Society – Common Diseases of Cotinus coggygria
  4. University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program – Aphids


In conclusion, the Smoketree (Cotinus coggygria ‘Ancot’ GOLDEN SPIRIT) stands as a captivating addition to ornamental landscapes, offering a blend of striking foliage, ethereal flowering displays, and adaptable cultural requirements. By understanding its unique characteristics, uses, and care guidelines, enthusiasts can fully appreciate and harness the potential of this remarkable plant to elevate the beauty and allure of outdoor environments. Whether employed as a focal point, an accentuating element, or a wildlife-friendly feature, the Smoketree continues to captivate and inspire with its ornamental charm and ecological significance.

Picture of Peter Taylors

Peter Taylors

Expert botanist who loves plants. His expertise spans taxonomy, plant ecology, and ethnobotany. An advocate for plant conservation, he mentors and educates future botanists, leaving a lasting impact on the field.