Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Cotinus coggygria Scop.

Fully hardy bushy shrub or tree with often greyish oval leaves, to 7cm long, turning yellow to red in autumn, and fruiting panicles, to 15cm long, turning from green to grey as they mature.  To 5m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers’].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Rhus cotinus, Linné. (Cotinus coggygria, Scopoli.) The Scotino. In the countries on the Mediterranean Sea, extending to Hungary and to the Himalayas. The wood of this bush furnishes a yellow pigment. The Scotino, so valuable as a material for yellow and black dye, and as a superior tanning substance, consists merely of the ground foliage of this plant. It contains up to 24 per cent, tannin. The plant endures the Norweigan winters northward to lat. 67 56’ [Prof. Schuebeler].’  [Ferdinand von Mueller – Select Extra-Tropical Plants readily eligible for Industrial Culture or Naturalisation p.461/1895].

Introduced to Britain in 1656.  [PD].  Figured in Saint-Hilaire Tr. pl.165/1825.

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [T.822/1843].


Rhus cotinus Torr. & Gray (1838) = Rhus cotinoides Nutt. ex Torr. & Gray, an American species.

Published Mar 16, 2010 - 05:28 PM | Last updated Jul 14, 2010 - 11:18 AM

Figured are oval leaves and open, grey-green fruiting panicles.  Saint-Hilaire Tr. pl.165, 1825.

Cotinus coggygria Scop. | Saint-Hilaire Tr. pl.165/1825 | BHL

Family Anacardiaceae
Region of origin

Southern Europe to China

  • Rhus cotinus L. 
Common Name

Venetian sumach, Scotino, Smoke bush

Name in the Camden Park Record

Rhus cotinus - Venetian sumach 

Confidence level high