Cotinus ‘Dusky Maiden’


Project Description

‘Dusky Maiden’ is the first hybrid between Cotinus szechuanensis and Cotinus coggygria  ‘Velvet Cloak’ (1997).

Cotinus szechuanensis is a very distinct species, collected by Roy Lancaster in 1993 from below the Wenchuan at 1,000m in the warm valley of the Min River in West Sichuan, China where it is associated with Caryopteris incana and Ceratostigma willmottianum.

From the Hillier Manuel of Trees & Shrub
  • A very compact deciduous Smoke Bush
  • Any well drained soils
  • Hardy -18°C
  • Attractive undulating small purple leaves
  • Suitable for a container on a Patio or border
  • In the garden it is more of a foliage plant
  • In a pot masses of flowers and exceptional autumn colour.
  • A plant of architectural merit.

c0fb57e1ef62a06e440c1725fb2570ffOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Cotinus coggygria  ‘Velvet Cloak           X        Cotinus szechuanensis





Plantipp BV

Concept Plants USA

Trade Wholesale

Poland Tissue

Garden Beauty Nurseries


Longstock Park Nursery

RHS Plant Finder


Larch Cottage Nursery


Havliz Nursery

Krolestworoslin Nursery


Globe Planter Nursery


Esveld Nursery



Photo Plantipp   Peter van Rijssen

Elegant new cotinus – Graham Rice’s New Plants Blog

Elegant new cotinus

Posted by Graham Rice on 10 Mar 2009 at 12:07 PM

This article by Graham Rice first appeared on his Royal Horticultural Society New Plants blog and is used with permission of Graham Rice and the RHS.”

Cotinus Dusky Maiden ('Londus'). Image: ©Peter MooreGood foliage shrubs which are both vigorous and easy to control, which look impressive all season yet have elegance and style, are hard to find. British bred Cotinus Dusky Maiden (‘Londus’) looks set to become one of the best.

There are a number of forms of purple smoke bush (Cotinus coggygria) around and the deep purple foliage of some is certainly impressive. But they can look rather leggy, especially when young, and when you cut them back you’re rewarded with a few long shoots which make the plant look unbalanced. And the flowers can detract from the foliage.

Cotinus Dusky Maiden ('Londus') in autumn colour. Image: ©Peter MooreThe purple leaves of Dusky Maiden are a striking feature and their undulating edges give them a little extra quality. In the autumn, they turn fiery orange and yellow and are especially colourful in dry seasons. Unlike most purple-leaved forms of Cotinus, Dusky Maiden is very shy flowering so there are few flowers to detract from the look of that gorgeous foliage. And, when you prune, it responds well by producing plenty of new shoots.

‘Dusky Maiden does have some sterile flowers,’ breeder Peter Moore told me, ‘but is unbeatable as a stunning foliage plant throughout the summer and, if the conditions are right, for autumn colour. This hybrid responds to pruning and produces really bushy plants.’

This is an ideal shrub for sunny mixed borders, where it makes an ideal companion for perennials either in hot or pastel shades, and even thrives in large containers.

Peter Moore works with the RHS Woody Plants Committee on trials, is propagator at Longstock Park Gardens in Hampshire and the breeder of many fine new plants including Choisya ‘Aztec Pearl’ and a number of new buddleias including ‘Silver Anniversary’.

Dusky Maiden is the very first hybrid between Cotinus szechuanensis, collected by Roy Lancaster in China, and C. coggygria ‘Velvet Cloak’. Just one seedling germinated – and it turned to be a fine plant.












Project Details

  • GenusCotinus
  • Speciesszechuanensis x coggygria
  • Cultivar'Dusky Maiden' Londus EU 26492 USA patent
  • CategoryShrub
  • Height & Spread2- 2.5m x 1.5m 6 ft 10 years. Prune March down to 50cm .
  • Plant Breeders RightsPropagation for resale is illegal without a licence from the breeder or Agent.
  • ColoursColours and sizes are approximate and are intended as a guideline and may vary according to local conditions.