seona's picture

A lovely shrub, needs a prune, but what is it?

Observed: 18th September 2012 By: seona
some sort of lovely shrub

This shrub is in my garden in rural Somerset and has just started to sag under the weight of its own branches. It looks like the leaves are going to turn a terrific yellow then red colour quite soon. I'd love to give it a name which would help me to look after it a bit better in future. Thanks for your help.

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David Trevan's picture


Commonly called the Smoke Bush or Tree because when it flowers it produces fawn coloured plumes of inflorescences that give the impression that it is on fire. It produces really nice autumn tints. If your plant is large already it may be best not to prune but grow it as a free standing shrub. If it is a young plant, it can be pruned back hard annually and it will produce attractive young growths but no flowers. There are purple cultivars of this plant available.
Personally I would resist pruning if it is a good specimen, it is an attractive shrub in its own right, but will get big.
Native to C. and Southern Europe and beyond,I have seen it in the wild in great profusion in Greece.

David J Trevan