Description / Plant Notes:
Patent Status: US Plant Patent: #13,082
Cotinus ‘Golden Spirit’ is a golden-leaved selection by Adriana Sanders-van Harn from the
Dutch nursery of Willem A. Sanders. The only golden smokebush, this deciduous, upright,
loose-spreading, multi-stemmed shrub typically grows 6-10’ tall and as wide, however it can be
easily kept more compact through annual pruning and can even be kept small enough for patio
containers. Flame-colored buds emerge in spring with a frothy inflorescence of smoke-like panicles
in midsummer as it matures. New leaves are a golden color gradually turning a lighter, golden-lime color
by summer with fantastic shades of red, orange, and gold in the fall.
‘Golden Spirit’ is easily grown in average, medium-moisture, well-drained soils in full or part sun and tolerates a wide range of soils except wet, poorly-drained ones. Stems may be cut back hard in winter or early spring each year to a framework to induce growth of new shoots with slightly larger than normal leaves. Such hard annual pruning will control size and may accentuate the colorful foliage and fall color.
This outstanding three-season specimen is a focal point in any garden. It provides unique effects against evergreens and perennials in mixed beds. Cotinus displays a dramatic contrast to the blues and violets of Clematis, Dichroa, Hebes, Lavenders, Geraniums, Salvias, Hydrangeas, Delphiniums, and Larkspurs. The foliage makes a stunning addition to cut flower arrangements and lasts well in the vase.
‘Golden Spirit’ Smoketree won the Gold Medal award for the “Best New Plant Introduction” at the 1999 Plantarium (Boskoop, Holland).