Smokebush (Continus) is one of those flowering shrubs that gets people talking. “What’s that?” they’ll ask. Invariably, the question is posed in summer, when the puffy, smoke-like flower panicles appear. The flower structures are most noticeable in midsummer but hold on in some form for months. Fortunately, some smokebushes also have colorful foliage to carry the entire season—varieties with burgundy or chartreuse leaves are the most notable. Zones 4–8.
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