A garden hybrid of Leycesteria formosa × L. crocothyrsos, intermediate in features between its parents. A shrub to c. 2.5 m, with hollow reddish stems, glandular-hairy when young. Leaves most like those of L. crocothyrsos, to 12 cm long, ovate, long pointed, sharply toothed, flushing deep reddish-purple and remaining reddish along the veins; stipules smaller than those of L. crocothyrsos; flowers in slender, drooping, glandular-hairy spikes to 12 cm long; corolla bell-shaped, from reddish buds, creamy yellow fading to creamy white, and subtended by small reddish bracts. (Edwards & Marshall 2019; Dirr 2009).
USDA Hardiness Zone 8
RHS Hardiness Rating H4
Leycesteria formosa was fertilised by pollen of L. crocothyrsos by Peter Dummer, Hillier Nurseries’ plant breeder, in 1994 (Edwards & Marshall 2019), and the resultant cross was commercially available in the UK from 2006–9 (Royal Horticultural Society 2020). These two closely-related but very different plants could have combined their floral characteristics in any number of ways, but the results do not seem to have represented an improvement on the features of either parent; Leycesteria are short-lived plants, and it likely that ‘Smouldering Embers’ could already be extinct in cultivation or nearly so.