peter & kenneth cox with rhododendronpeter & kenneth cox with rhododendron

Kenneth Cox meet the grower

Born in 1964 into a family of renowned plantsmen, Kenneth Cox is grandson of planthunter, writer and nurseryman Euan Cox and son of Peter Cox VMH. The three generations were and are considered  the world's leading experts on rhododendrons. 

Kenneth is managing director of the family firm Glendoick Gardens Ltd in Scotland, a garden centre and mail order nursery specialising in Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Ericaceous plants, Meconopsis, Primula and other plants collected by the Cox family around the world. Kenneth is married with two sons and in his spare time plays several musical instruments.

Kenneth is author of numerous books on rhododendrons, Scottish Gardening and Plant Hunting. (see listing below).

He has served on the National Trust for Scotland advisory panel on Gardens and Planned Landscapes and advises the National Trust on several of their woodland gardens. He designs and advises on the restoration of woodland gardens and rhododendron gardens in the UK and elsewhere.

Ken has carved out his particular niche in the world of plant-hunting in leading 9 expeditions to South and South-East Tibet and Arunachal Pradesh, India, 1995-to the present. 

He graduated in 1986 at the University of Birmingham, England with a BA in General Arts and a diploma in commerce. He is married to former literary agent Jane Bradish Ellames, who now runs the Glendoick cafe and foodhall, and they have two sons, Jamie and Finn.

Kenneth Cox is an experienced lecturer on rhododendrons, horticulture and exploration and has lectured throughout the UK, many part of Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand. Recently talks have been given at literary festivals, botanical gardens, specialist societies as well as The Royal Scottish Geographical Society and Royal Society for Asiatic Affairs.

Kenneth Cox, Plant Hunting Expeditions

2 Kenneth Cox meet the grower

  • 1992 Sino Scottish Expedition to N.W. Yunnan (Chungtien, Bei Ma Shan) 
  • 1993 N.W. Yunnan, China (leader)
  • 1994 N.W. Yunnan (Weixi), China (leader)
  • 1995 S.E. Tibet, Namche Barwa region (leader)
  • 1996 S.E. Tibet, Tsangpo Gorges, Pemako, Namche Barwa (leader)
  • 1997 S.E. Tibet, Zayul, Pome (leader)
  • 1998 Tsari, S.E. Tibet. (leader)
  • 1999 Tsari S.E. Tibet (leader)
  • 2001 Arunachal Pradesh, upper Siang.
  • 2002 Arunachal Pradesh, Subansiri-Siyom divide (leader)
  • 2003 Arunachal Pradesh: Dibang & Tawang/Kameng
  • 2005 Arunachal Pradesh Upper Siang, Riutala pass & kora  (leader)
  • 2011 North Vietam
  • 2012 Sichuan, China (leader)

Kenneth Cox discovers new rhododendron species R. titapuriense description by Kenneth Cox, Plantsman 2013.pdf


Kenneth Cox Hybridising

Hybrid rhododendron and azalea introductions: (a small sample)


Rhododendron HybridsRhododendron Tanager brachyanthum x viridescens-1

RHODODENDRON 'CRANE' 75cm. H5. Creamy-white flowers in April. A white version of 'Ginny Gee' which is hardy, very free-flowering and easy to please. One of the best white dwarf hybrids.

RHODODENDRON 'QUAIL' 30cm. H4. Bright red buds open to deep reddish-pink in April-May. Compact habit. Very free-flowering, the flowers last best in part-day shade. Almost a true red lepidote dwarf.

RHODODENDRON 'LOCH FASKALLY' H5 Low  White with orange brown/yellow blotch, many-flowered truss. Very vigorous, with good foliage and habit. Like a late flowering Cunningham's White with better habit than the others of this colour.

RHODODENDRON WONDERRED [‘2008/7D’] H5 Low Dark red flowers in May. Very free flowering. Rich bronzy red young growth and a purple leaf underside. (‘85/1C’ x ‘Moser’s Maroon’)

Evergreen Azalea Hybrids Evergreen azalea Red Panda

OPOSSUM 20cm H4-5 Deep reddish-purple, May. Compact, spreading habit. Very fine. 
RACOON 30cm. H4. Bright red in June-July, on a compact, spreading plant. Useful for it late flowering.  

RED DEER 30cm H4-5 (2004 19C Red Panda x Marushka) Crimson flowers, foliage dark red in winter dark green in summer, glossy. 

RED FOX 20cm H4-5? Red flowers on a compact spreader ground cover. Like red version of Wombat.pact spreader, May.

GLENDOICK® CANDYFLOSS [‘GLE033’] Bright Double pink, late May.  (‘Elsie Lee’ x ‘Canzonetta’)

GLENDOICK® CHIFFON  [‘GLE034’] Compact double white in early to mid May. Very free-flowering. (‘Elsie Lee’ x ‘Panda’)

GLENDOICK® CONFETTI [‘GLE046’] 2011/8B Pink and white mixture, petalloid stamens. Early May, compact.                                                         (‘Linda Stewart’ x ‘Glendoick Rosebud’)

GLENDOICK® GARDENIA [‘GLE036’] Low double huge pale pink  early May (‘Mrs Nancy Dippel’ x ‘Maischnee’)

GLENDOICK® GEISHA ‘[GLE037’] Thick textured salmon flowers in mid June. (nakaharae x ‘Chippewa’)

GLENDOICK® GEORGETTE [‘GLE037’] Low double huge pale pink, early May. (‘Mrs Nancy Dippel’ x ‘Maischnee’)

GLENDOICK® GLACIER [‘GLE009’] Double white in May-June. Low, spreading habit. (‘Panda’ x ‘Rokoko’)

GLENDOICK® GLAMOUR [‘GLE039’] Salmon Pink-orange, large flat faced fls, early May, Glossy foliage. (‘Canzonetta’ x ‘Marushka’)

GLENDOICK® GOBLIN [‘GLE010’] Carmine-red. Fine glossy red-purple winter foliage. (‘Red Red’ x ‘Johanna’)

GLENDOICK® PRINCESS [‘GLE040’] Double white mid to late May. Vigorous. (‘Elsie Lee’ x ‘Panda’)

GLENDOICK® RUFFLES [‘GLE041’] Tufted semi double. Purple with a dark flare. (‘Elsie Lee’ x ‘Linda Stewart’)

GLENDOICK® SEASHELL [GLE047] Single palest pink, large-flowered, compact habit, early May. (‘Mrs Nancy Dippel’ x ‘Maischnee’)

GLENDOICK® STARBURST [‘GLE031’] Star-like mauve-pink, narrow petals, en masse in mid May, (‘Koroko Shikibu’ x ‘Violetta’)

Deciduous Azalea HybridsDeciduous Az d2 Ben Cruachan

NEW Scottish Mountain Series Launched 2013-14 

2m. H5-6, very hardy. ML-L. A new range of Glendoick double azalea hybrids in a range of colours: 

BEN CRUACHAN cream, pink edge, 

BEN LAWERS deep pink,

BEN LOMOND pale pink, 

BEN MACDUI  yellow


BEN VRACKIE salmon pink, orange centre. 



Books by Kenneth Cox:

  • The Encyclopedia of Rhododendron Hybrids Batsford  1988 (With Peter A. Cox)
  • A Plantsman's Guide to Rhododendrons Ward Lock 1989
  • Cox's Guide to Choosing Rhododendrons Batsford 1990 (with Peter Cox)
  • The Encyclopedia of Rhododendron Species Glendoick Publications 1997, 2nd ed. 2001 (with Peter Cox)
  • Rhododendrons, A Hamlyn Care Manual. Hamlyn 1998. Translated in French, Dutch, Swedish, Danish.
  • Riddle of the Tsangpo Gorges by Frank Kingdon Ward. New Edition, ed. Kenneth Cox, Antique Collector’s Club 2001,2007
  • Glendoick, A Guide, Glendoick Publishing
  • Rhododendrons and AzaleasA Colour Guide Crowood Press 2005.
  • Garden Plants for Scotland Frances Lincoln 2008 (with Raoul Curtis Machin)
  • Scotland for Gardeners  Birlinn 2009  2nd Editon 2014  Winner Inspirational Garden Book of the Year 2009. Garden Media Guild
  • Fruit and Vegetables for Scotland  Birlinn 2012  Winner Garden Reference of the Year 2012
  • Woodland Gardening  Glendoick Publications 2018  Winner European Gardening Book of the Year 2019.

More details on these books click here


Kenneth Cox Lectures

Kenneth Cox Lectures


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