Dynamic Duo: Royal Purple and Golden Spirit

Royal Purple and Golden Spirit may sound like the names of a dynamic crime-fighting duo; but here on the farm, they're two of our favorite summer specialty branches!
Royal Purple | Golden Spirit

Cotinus is a summer crop through and through -- they love sun and heat, which is why we grow them at our Willow Creek farm, located 45 minutes inland from our coastal Arcata location. The open-field farm is nestled in a sunny valley which sees 14-15 hours of sunlight and temperatures ranging from 75-90 degrees during the summer -- the ideal environment for these sky-reaching branches. 

Our Willow Creek Farm

And how they love to reach for the sky!  We start harvesting around the beginning of June, picking through summertime and into fall. At the end of the season, we prune the plants down to the ground; they rest through the winter and then begin growing, shooting up to a height of 10+ feet tall!
Avenue of Giant Cotinus

 Royal Purple Details

Aside from its great height, Royal Purple Cotinus is known for its brilliant, distinctive color.  Its leaves contrast beautifully with itself-- the top of each leaf features a burgundy-purple sheen while its underside is silver-green, and the whole leaf is wrought with bright veins and framed with an iridescent edging.  This conflagration of color gives the entire branch a darkly unique and dramatic presentation.

Royal Purple leaves

Golden Spirit Details

We added Golden Spirit to our Willow Creek repertoire a few years ago....I thought I loved Royal Purple Cotinus, but once I saw Golden Spirit, I was entranced!  It is brilliantly colored, gorgeously green, and completely glows in the sunshine!

Golden Spirit acts similarly to the Royal Purple cultivar, but because it is lighter in color, we have had to make a few practical changes.  Golden Spirit, with its fair complexion, can't take too much of the hot summer sun or its leaves will burn; to remedy that, we simply pick it earlier in the season,  often finishing at the end of July/August.  Below you can see Lane examining a young crop of Golden Spirit earlier in the year, whose colors continued to develop into the brilliant green-gold branches in the photo on the right.

These summer specialty branches are both available in 3-foot tall consumer bunches, and we also offer custom-cut "super bunches" of the Royal Purple, which are cut at an incredible height of 6 feet! If you want to make a serious impact with your summer and fall bouquets, Cotinus --whether it is the dark and dramatic Royal Purple or the fresh and vibrant Golden Spirit--is THE specialty branch for you!

Call your sales rep and try one (or both!) of these dynamic botanicals.


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