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Re: Houttuynia cordata, smoke bush

Chris, you are right, Houttuynia has the most revolting scent.  I've
read it's supposed to smell like Saville oranges...if it does, that's
one fruit I will pass on...scent makes me gag.

As for Cotinus 'Royal Purple'.  Yes, it will keep its color all
season in sun; in part shade the leaves turn more green but with a
purple overcast.  Mine is upwards of about 20 feet tall after 13
years in the ground.  For best color, you should (I have read) prune
this shrub hard every couple of years (which also controls the size)
- you don't get any "smoke", but you get larger leaves.  I never did
that and now it's too late, I think.

Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
Editor:  Gardening in Shade
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> From: Chris <chris@widom-assoc.com>
> Good morning all!
> I've been trying to remove Houttuynia cordata (Chameleon Vine) from
> several gardens beds for years!  The first few years it behaved
> so I gave it to all my gardening friends!  I'm surprised that they
> speak to me!  I have spent hours sifting the soil where it's
> but every little root hair seems to return as a new plant!  In one
bed I
> ruthlessly pull 3/4 of it out a few times a season.  
> Don't plant it!  It grows as aggressively in full shade as well as
> sun.  The only way that I appreciate it is as a bouquet partially
> submerged in one of my water gardens.  It will do quite well
> soil.
> I think it's flower is somewhat like a dogwood and quite pretty.  I
> two forms of the beast growing in my gardens. One is mostly green
with a
> red blush and the other is the red/cream/green form.  The leaves
have an
> awful odor.
> If you'd like to see a photo let me know.
> I'm thinking of planting a smoke bush to replace a large privet
that I
> had removed.  I was thinking of Cotinus 'Royal Purple'.  Will it
> its color all season?  How big can I expect it to grow?  I've read
> differing info on the net!
> We're still not in our house post-fire, but the carpeting is
> this morning, so I took a day off from work.

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