Cotinus coggygria 'Ancot' GOLDEN SPIRIT

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 5 Professionals
Common Name: smoketree
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Anacardiaceae
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 8.00 to 15.00 feet
Spread: 8.00 to 15.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to July
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Hedge
Leaf: Colorful, Good Fall
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Clay Soil


Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates a wide range of soils except wet, poorly-drained ones. Prefers somewhat infertile loams, but also does well in poor, rocky soils. Good drainage is essential, however. Shallow vigorous root system. Stems may be cut back hard in early spring each year to a framework to induce growth of new shoots with slightly larger than normal leaves. Such hard annual pruning will control size and perhaps accentuate the colorful foliage and fall color. Although annual pruning normally eliminates the smoke and flowers, this is less of a concern with this particular cultivar.

Noteworthy Characteristics

GOLDEN SPIRIT (‘Ancot’) is a smoketree cultivar that is grown for its unusual golden foliage. This is a deciduous, upright, loose-spreading, multi-stemmed shrub that typically grows 8-15’ tall and as wide, however it can be easily kept more compact through annual pruning. Ovate to obovate, yellow leaves (to 3” long) suffused with green retain good color throughout summer, but turn amber, burgundy, scarlet and green in fall. There are questions, however, as to whether GOLDEN SPIRIT should be expected to flower and smoke in the garden. U. S. Plant Patent PP13,082 was issued October 15, 2002 for this plant. The patent documents state that GOLDEN SPIRIT was grown and tested over a four year period, and that “no flowering has been observed by the inventor to date.” On the other hand, many nurseries currently claim that GOLDEN SPIRIT regularly produces tiny yellow flowers in spring followed by the signature post-bloom smoky summer panicles that appear on most other C. coggygria cultivars.


No serious insect or disease problems. Some susceptibility to leaf spots, rust, San Jose scale and verticillium wilt.

Garden Uses

Single specimen, group or mass in mixed plantings, shrub borders or sunny areas around the home. Unusual yellow foliage in the growing season plus superb fall color make this a striking accent plant. Also may be used as an informal hedge or screen.