Deciduous shrub or small tree, 12-15 ft tall and nearly double in width. The foliage is maroon-red in spring, darkening over the season to purplish red. The leaves may be greenish in late summer and may become scarlet in fall. The upper surface of leaves often show with a pink margin, with the underside being green.
Smoke bush is often used as a garden specimen thanks to its beautiful purple-pink smokey plumes.