Gardening

Cotoneasters

Cotoneaster Cotoneasters

The genus Cotoneaster includes some of the most useful and beautiful hardy shrubs. They range from compact groundcovers to very large specimens; their foliage may be evergreen or deciduous; and frequently they bear fruits, which may be red, orange, yellow, pink, purple, or black. Cotoneasters possess many ornamental traits and are easy to cultivate, their attributes are on par with more popular viburnums and daphnes.  I planted two Cotoneasters in my garden to provide sheltered habitat and food during the winter for the wild birds that visit.

Cotoneasters are a large genus of 200 species of shrubs or small trees that are part of the larger Rose family and are mostly native to eastern Asia though some are native Europe. They are used for anything from specimen trees, hedging and groundcover.  Most prefer full sun though some of the taller evergreen types grow well in partial shade. All prefer moderately fertile and well drained soil; they do tolerate salt, wind and drought. Evergreen types grow better on sites that are sheltered from driving winter wind. Cotoneasters do not enjoy root disturbance so it is recommended to plant them small while dormant on their permanent sites. Cotoneasters can be prone to fire blight, which can enter fresh pruning cuts so it is best to prune during late autumn while dormant. Lacebugs and Spider Mites may also occur but only rarely.

All of the Cotoneasters listed immediately below are on the Great Plants List that is released here in the Pacific Northwest as part of the educational outreach programs conducted by the Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden.

•    bearberry cotoneaster
•    compact cotoneaster
•    cotoneaster adpressus little gem
•    cotoneaster dammeri
•    cotoneaster glaucophyllus hort.
•    cotoneaster procumbens queen of carpets
•    cotoneaster salicifolius repens
•    gray-leaf cotoneaster
•    ground-hugging cotoneaster
•    spreading willowleaf cotoneaster

Propagation

Cuttings are generally easy to root in sand or perlite.

Light

Light requirements can be found under species information.

Watering

Water when normal rainfall does not provide the preferred 1 inch of moisture most plants prefer. Average water is needed during the growing season, but take care not to overwater.

Pruning Flowering Shrubs

It is necessary to prune your deciduous flowering shrub for two reasons: 1. Remove old, damaged or dead wood.  This increases air flow, reducing disease. 2. You spur new growth which increases flower production.
Pruning deciduous shrubs can be divided into 4 groups: Those that require minimal pruning (take out only dead, diseased, damaged, or crossed branches, this should be done in early spring.); spring pruning (spurs new growth which produces summer flowers, flowers appear on new wood); summer pruning after flower (after flowering, cut back shoots, and take out some of the old growth, down to the ground); suckering habit pruning (flowers appear on wood from previous year.

Pests

Spider mites are small, 8 legged, spider-like creatures which thrive in hot, dry conditions (like heated houses). Spider mites feed with piercing mouth parts, which cause plants to appear yellow and stippled. Leaf drop and plant death can occur with heavy infestations. Spider mites can multiply quickly, as a female can lay up to 200 eggs in a life span of 30 days. They also produce a web which can cover infested leaves and flowers.

Prevention and Control: Keep weeds down and remove infested plants. Dry air seems to worsen the problem, so make sure plants are regularly. Take advantage of natural enemies such as ladybug larvae. If a miticide is recommended by your local garden center professional or county Cooperative Extension office, follow all label directions. Concentrate your efforts on the undersides of the leaves as that is where spider mites generally live.

Scale Insects – Scales are insects, related to mealy bugs.  Young scales crawl until they find a good feeding site. The adult females then lose their legs and remain on a spot protected by its hard shell layer. They appear as bumps, often on the lower sides of leaves. They have piercing mouth parts that suck the sap out of plant tissue. Scales can weaken a plant leading to yellow foliage and leaf drop. They also produce a sweet substance called honeydew (coveted by ants) which can lead to an unattractive black surface fungal growth called sooty mold.  Oooh.
Prevention and Control: Once established they are hard to control. Isolate infested plants away from those that are not infested. Consult your local garden center professional or Cooperative Extension office in your county for a legal recommendation regarding their control. Encourage natural enemies such as parasitic wasps in the garden.

Diseases

Leaf spots are caused by fungi or bacteria. Brown or black spots and patches may be either ragged or circular, with a water soaked or yellow-edged appearance.
Prevention and Control: Remove infected leaves when the plant is dry. Leaves that collect around the base of the plant should be raked up and disposed of. Avoid overhead irrigation if possible; water should be directed at soil level. For fungal leaf spots, use a recommended fungicide.
Blights are cause by fungi or bacteria that kill plant tissue. Symptoms often show up as the rapid spotting or wilting of foliage. There are many different blights, specific to various plants, each requiring a varied method of control.

Choices

Cotoneaster acuminatus (Hedge Cotoneaster)
A deciduous large shrub or small tree, reaching around 20 feet, that is native to the Himalayas.
The oval leaves average 2 inches in length.
The white flowers are borne in clusters during late spring.  They are followed by red fruit.
Hardy zones 5 to 9

Cotoneaster adpressus (Creeping Cotoneaster )
A low spreading, deciduous shrub native to western China.
A beautiful plant when used in a large rock garden.
The wavy-edged, rounded leaves, up to 0.6 inches, are very glossy deep green, turning to deep red in autumn.
The white flowers are borne in clusters during late spring.
They are followed by scarlet-red fruit, up to 0.5 inches across, in fall.
Hardy zones 4 to 8

Cotoneaster affinis (Blue Fruited Cotoneaster)
A fast growing, arching, deciduous large shrub to small tree, reaching up to 18 feet.
The leaves are elliptical, 4 x 2 inches, and are deep green.
The profuse white flowers are borne in clusters during late spring.
They are followed by purple-black fruit.
Hardy zones 7 to 9

Cotoneaster amoenus (Beautiful Cotoneaster)
A moderate growing, dense, compact, evergreen shrub native to China.
Plant reaches 3 feet in 10.
The taper-pointed, oval leaves are 1 x 0.5 inches.  They are glossy green above, woolly white beneath.
The white to pink flowers are borne in upright clusters during late spring.
Flowers are followed by red fruit.
Hardy zones 6 to 9

Cotoneaster apiculatus (Cranberry Cotoneaster)
A fast growing, spreading, deciduous shrub, native to Sichuan province in China.
Plant grows to 3 x 6 feet in about 10 years.
The wavy-edged, rounded leaves, are 0.7 inches, are glossy mid green above, slightly hairy beneath. The foliage turns red-purple in fall.
The solitary white to deep pink flowers are borne during late spring.
The fruit that follows the flowers is red.
Hardy zones 4 to 7 tolerating as low as -32 F. Plant is very drought tolerant.

Cotoneaster bullatus (Hollyberry Cotoneaster)
This is a very large, open, arching, deciduous to semi-evergreen shrub native to western China.
Plant will reach 13 x 10 feet in 10 years.
The deeply veined, oval leaves, reach 6 x 3 inches, are very glossy, mid green; turning to intense scarlet-red in fall.
The white flowers are borne in clusters, up to 2 inches across, during late spring.
Flowers are followed by very showy, pinkish-red fruit borne in large clusters.
Hardy zones 4 to 8

Cotoneaster buxifolius (Bright Bead Cotoneaster)
A medium size evergreen shrub native to northern India.
Plant reaches a height of 6 Feet and a width of 2 Feet.
The oval leaves, up to 0.5 inches, are hairy dull green above, densely felted gray beneath.
The white flowers are borne in dense clusters during late spring.
Flowers are followed by deep red fruit.
Hardy zones 7 to 8. Drought tolerant.

Cotoneaster cochleatus (Kashmir Cotoneaster)
A slow growing, very dense, low spreading, rigid branched, evergreen shrub that is native to western China.
Plant reaches a height of 6 inches and spreads to 12 inches.
The thick, oval leaves, reach 0.7 inches, they are hairy at first, turning to glossy deep green.
The white flowers are borne in clusters during late spring.
Flowers are followed by showy, deep red fruits that persist well into winter.
Hardy zones 6 to 9

Cotoneaster congestus (Dwarf Cotoneaster)
A low, dense, mounding, spreading, small, evergreen shrub native to the Himalayas.
Plant reaches 4 inches x 1 foot in 10 years
This is an excellent choice for rock gardens. The small, oval leaves, up to 0.5 inches in length, are bright green to blue-green above, lightly hairy beneath.
The pinkish-white flowers are borne in clusters during late spring.
Flowers are followed by scarlet-red fruit.
Hardy zones 5 to 9 tolerating as low as -20 F

Cotoneaster conspicuus (Tibetan Cotoneaster)
This is a dense mounding, evergreen shrub native to western China and Tibet.
Plant reaches 6.5 x 10 feet in 10 years.
The spirally arranged, oblong leaves, grow to 1 x 0.5 inches, are glossy very deep green.
The mostly solitary, white flowers are borne during late spring.
Flowers are followed by glossy red fruit.
Hardy zones 5 to 9 in full sun to partial shade.

Cotoneaster cooperi (Cooper’s Cotoneaster)
A rapid growing, low, creeping, evergreen shrub that is native to Bhutan at elevations around 11000 feet. It makes a great groundcover or plant for the rock garden. Some records include: 10 years – 0.5 x 6 feet; largest on record – 3 x 25 feet.
The tiny, rounded leaves are luxuriant deep green.
The white flowers are borne in clusters during late spring.
They are followed by purple fruit.
The very rigid twigs are red.
Hardy zones 5 to 9

Cotoneaster cuspidatus ( Tibetan Cotoneaster )
A rare, moderate growing, spreading, semi-evergreen shrub reaching up to 6 x 6 feet, that is native to Tibet.
The small rounded leaves are glossy deep green, turning fiery orange and red in autumn.
The deep pink flowers are borne in clusters during late spring.
Flowers are followed by masses of glossy red fruit during autumn.
Hardy zones 7 to 9, locate plant in full sun to partial shade.

Cotoneaster dammmeri (Bearberry Cotoneaster)
A very fast growing, low spreading, evergreen shrub that is native to the Hubei Province in China.
Grows to 3 x 6.5 feet in 10 years
The deeply-veined, oblong leaves, reach 1.3 inches in length, are glossy deep green. The foliage is evergreen to -10 F.
The white flowers are borne in singly or in small clusters during late spring.
Flowers are followed by scarlet-red fruit.
Hardy zones 4 to 8, in very cold climates thriving best with deep winter snow cover. During severe winters with no snowfall it will usually regenerate from the base even if the tips dieback.

Cotoneaster dielsianus (Diel’s Cotoneaster)
An open, deciduous to semi-evergreen medium size shrub, native to China.
Some records include: 10 years – feet; largest on record – 10 x 10 feet.
The leathery, oval leaves, up to 1.5 x 1 inches, are glossy deep green, turning red in autumn.
The pinkish-white flowers are borne in small clusters of up to 7, during late spring.
They are followed by glossy deep red fruit.
Hardy zones 5 to 8 tolerating as low as -20 F

Cotoneaster divaricatus ( Spreading Cotoneaster )
A very rapid growing, handsome, bushy, upright to arching, large deciduous shrub native to China.
Plant can reach 6 x 6 Feet in 10 years.
A spreading cotoneaster that makes an excellent hedge or screen.
The oval leaves reach 1.3 x 0.7 inches, are glossy deep green with long lasting, red-purple to fluorescent-red fall color.
The pink flowers are borne in clusters during late spring.
Flowers are followed by profuse scarlet-red fruit, up to 0.5 inches, that persist well into December and sometimes even late winter.
Hardy zones 4 to 7.  Plant in full sun or partial shade (may even tolerate shade) on well drained soil. Plant is drought tolerant. It thrives especially well in the Midwest. Very tolerant of pruning and makes an excellent screen or hedge. It can be prone to fireblight and oystershell scale on some sites.
Propagation is from softwood cuttings taken during summer and seed sown in autumn.

Cotoneaster franchetii (Orange Cotoneaster)
A fast growing, erect, gracefully lightly-weeping, evergreen large shrub that is native to western China and nearby parts of Burma. Plant can reach 10 x 10 feet in 10 years.
The attractive, oval leaves, can reach 2.5 inches in length, are glossy bright green to gray-green above, thickly felted white beneath, turning to red in autumn.
The small, pinkish-white flowers are borne in clusters (up to 3.2 inches across) of up to 15 during late spring.
Flowers are followed by profuse, oblong, scarlet-red fruit, up to 0.5 inches in length.  The berries ripen during early autumn and sometimes persist into late winter or early spring.
Hardy zones are 5b to 9.  Plant in full sun to partial shade on well drained soil; it thrives in the southeastern U.S. where most Cotoneasters do not grow.
Plant is tolerant of drought, heat, strong winds and poor soil; Propagated from semi-ripe cuttings taken during summer.

Cotoneaster glabratus (Glabrous Cotoneaster)
A native of Sichuan, Guizhous, Hubei and Yunnan Provinces in China, forming a very large, graceful weeping shrub
Plant can reach over 20 feet in 20 years.
The leaves are taper pointed, oblanceolate, evergreen leaves, up to 4 x 1.5 inches; they are very glossy bright green above, bluish-white beneath.
The white flowers are borne in dense terminal clusters, up to 1.6 inches across.
Flowers are followed by small, orange-red berries that are borne in large showy clusters.
Hardy zones are 6 to 7 and plant thrives in the Pacific Northwest. Light is full sun to partial shade and this Cotoneaster is tolerant of drought and heavy root competition. It is not bothered by Fire Blight.

Cotoneaster glaucophyllus (Chinese Blue Cotoneaster)
Native to Yunnan Province in China.
This is a moderate growing, semi-evergreen to evergreen shrub that can reach 10 x 18 feet.
The deeply veined, oval leaves, can reach 3 x 1.5 inches, are deep green above, white beneath.
The white flowers are borne in cymes during summer.
Flowers are followed by orange fruit.
Hardy zones 6 to 8

Cotoneaster henryanus (Henry Cotoneaster)
A graceful, weeping, semi-evergreen to evergreen small tree that is native to central China.
The branches are up to 18 feet long and can be trained onto a trellis.
The pointed, oval leaves, reach 5 x 1.5 inches, are rough deep green above, woolly gray beneath.
The small white flowers are borne in clusters during late spring.
Flowers are followed by deep red fruit.
Hardy zones 4 to 8

Cotoneaster horizontalis (Rock or Rockspray Cotoneaster)
A very dense, herringbone-branched, medium size, spreading, deciduous to semi-evergreen shrub native to western China. Plant grows to 2 x 8 feet in 10 years.
The rounded leaves, reach 0.5 inches, are glossy deep green, and turn to purplish-red in late autumn. The foliage is early to emerge in spring. In mild climates it may become evergreen.
The small, single or paired, pink flowers are borne in clusters during late spring.
Flowers are followed by masses of rounded, scarlet-red fruit during autumn, lasting into winter.
Hardy zones 4 to 7.  Plant in full sun to partial shade; it hates root disturbance and must be transplanted while small. Propagation is from softwood cuttings taken during summer or seed sown during autumn.

Cotoneaster hupehensis (Hupeh Cotoneaster)
A very handsome, medium to large size, deciduous shrub native to China.
Plant reaches 10 x 15 feet in 10 years.
The oval leaves, reach 1.7 x 1 inches, are deep green, turning to bright yellow in autumn.
The white flowers are borne in clusters during spring.
Flowers are followed by fruit.
Hardy zones 4 to 8

Cotoneaster ‘Hybridus Pendulus’ (Cotoneaster Tree)
A vigorous, semi-evergreen to evergreen shrub that is the hybrid between Cotoneaster dammeri & C. frigidus. Plant can reach 10 feet in 10 years.
The elliptical leaves, reach 3.2 x 1.3 inches, are deep green.
The white flowers are borne in small clusters during late spring.
Flowers are followed by profuse round, scarlet-red fruit, persisting well into winter.
Hardy zones 5 to 9

Cotoneaster integerrimus (European Cotoneaster)
A large shrub reaching that is native to Europe and western Asia.
Plant reaches 10 x 10 feet in 10 years.
The deciduous leaves are oval and reach up to 2 x 1 inch in size. The foliage is mid green above and felted below. The European Cotoneaster leafs out early in spring and remains in leaf until late in autumn.
The flowers are white with a pink tinge and are borne in spring.
Flowers are followed by round red berries in autumn.
Hardy zones 2 to 5; it is even known to thrive in North Dakota and tolerate -43 F or annual rainfall that is as low as 10 inches. This Cotoneaster is also blight resistant.

Cotoneaster lacteus (Pharney Cotoneaster)
A very vigorous, dense, arching, evergreen large shrub, that is native to Yunnan Province in China. It makes a great informal hedge or windbreak.
Plant reaches 10 x 10 feet in 10 years.
The deeply-veined, leathery, oval leaves, reach 3.3 x 1 inches, are deep green above, and densely felted white beneath.
The small, creamy-white flowers are borne in dense clusters, up to 3.2 inches across, during early to mid summer.
Flowers are followed by red fruits that persist into late winter.
Hardy zones are 3 to 7.  Plant in full sun to partial shade on well drained soil. It is resistant to fireblight and is among the best Cotoneasters for use in the southeast U.S. Tolerant of heat, smog, salt, drought and poor soil.   Propagation is from semi-ripe cuttings taken during summer.

Cotoneaster linearifolius (Thyme Cotoneaster)
A dwarf low growing, evergreen shrub native to Nepal.
Plant reaches 1.3 x 4 feet.
The narrow leaves, reach 0.3 inches, they are glossy deep green above, gray beneath.
The white flowers are borne in clusters during early summer.
Flowers are followed by persistent deep pink fruit.
Hardy zones 5 to 9

Cotoneaster lucidus (Hedge Cotoneaster)
A moderate growing, large deciduous shrub native to Siberia. It makes an excellent hedge and screen.
Plant can reach 10 x 10 feet in 10 years;
the oval leaves, reach 3 x 1 inches, they are glossy deep green turning to red in autumn.
The pale pink flowers are borne in clusters during late spring.
Flowers are followed by black fruit, up to 0.5 inches.
The bark is tan color with lenticels.
Hardy zones are 2b to 7. This Cotoneaster can be pruned heavily and also grown as a hedge.  It is very tolerant of windy sites. It may be prone to leaf spot and fire blight where summers are too hot and humid.

Cotoneaster marginatus (Fringed Cotoneaster)
An upright arching evergreen shrub that is native to the Himalayas.
Plant can reach 5 feet in 10 years.
The very small, elliptical leaves, up to 0.7 inches, are bristly hairy beneath.
The white flowers are borne in clusters of 2 to 8 during late spring.
They are followed by deep red fruit.
Hardy zones 7 to 10

Cotoneaster microphyllus (Littleleaf Cotoneaster)
A moderate growing, low, dense, spreading to mounding, evergreen shrub that is native to the Himalayas.
Plant can reach 3 x 8 feet in 10 years.
The Littleleaf Cotoneaster is an excellent groundcover for large areas such as banks.
The thick, oval leaves, reach 0.5 inches, are hairy at first, turning to glossy deep green above, woolly beneath.
The tiny white flowers are borne in clusters during late spring and early summer.
Flowers are followed by deep red fruit which persist into March.
Hardy zones are 4 to 7

Cotoneaster moupinensis (Moupin Cotoneaster)
A large shrub, very similar to Cotoneaster bullatus, that is native to China.
Plant can reach 10 x 10 feet in 10 years.
The oval leaves, reach 3 inches, are deep green above, downy beneath.
The pink flowers are borne in clusters during late spring.
Flowers are followed by fruit that are pink, eventually ripening to black.
Hardy zones 5 to 8

Cotoneaster multiflorus (Showy Cotoneaster)
A moderate growing, arching to slightly weeping, deciduous large shrub to small tree, reaching around 20 x 15 feet, that is native to Siberia’s Altai Mountains and western China.
The oval leaves, reach 2.5 x 1.5 inches, are deep blue-green.
The very profuse, white flowers are borne in clusters during late spring.
Flowers are followed by very abundant, red fruit.
Hardy zones are 3 to 7 in full sun on rich, very well drained soil. Very pest resistant, it is also very clay tolerant.

Cotoneaster nanshan (Nanshan Cotoneaster)
A vigorous, arching spreading, deciduous (evergreen in mild climates) shrub native to western China.
Plant reaches 6 x 10 feet in 10 years.
After many decades, it may grow even wider due to its branches that root as they touch the soil.
The rounded leaves, reach 1 inch, are very glossy deep green, turning to scarlet-red in autumn.
The white flowers are borne in clusters during late spring.
Flowers are followed by scarlet-red fruit, up to 0.5 inches across, in fall.
Hardy zones 4 to 7, requiring mulch or deep snow cover during winter in zone 4.

Cotoneaster pannosus (Silverleaf Cotoneaster)
This is a vigorous, semi-evergreen to evergreen shrub, native to China.
Plant reaches 15 feet in 10
The oval leaves, reach 2 x 0.5 inches, are dull green above, white hairy beneath.
The white flowers are borne in clusters during early summer.
Flowers are followed by slightly woolly, bright red fruit. The fruits are loved by birds.
Hardy zones 6 to 10

Cotoneaster procumbens (Streibs Findling Cotoneaster)
A fast growing, very low, spreading, evergreen to semi-evergreen, groundcover shrub native from the Himalayas to China.
Plant can reach 16 inches x 7 feet in 10 years.
The round leaves, reach 0.8 inches in length, are purple at first, turning to deep green.
The solitary white flowers are borne in clusters during early spring
Flowers are followed by red fruit during fall.
Hardy zones 5 to 8

Cotoneaster racemiflorus (Redbead Cotoneaster)
This is a moderate growing, spectacular deciduous shrub native from southern Europe to the Himalayas and northern Africa.
Plant can reach 8 x 8 feet in 10 years.
The oval leaves, reach 3 inches in length, are hairy gray-green above, and are white velvety beneath.
The white flowers are borne in umbels during summer.
Flowers are followed by profuse persistent rose-pink to bright red fruits.
The stems are slender and downy.
Hardy zones 3 to 7

Cotoneaster ‘Rothschildianus’
A vigorous, spreading, large, evergreen shrub. It may be a variety of Cotoneaster frigidus rather than a hybrid.
The plant reaches 17 x 17 feet in 10 years.
The elliptical leaves, reach 6 x 1.3 inches, and are mid green.
The white flowers are borne in clusters during summer.
They are followed by clusters of round, light yellow berries.
Hardy zones 5 to 8

Cotoneaster salicifolius (Willowleaf Cotoneaster)
This is a vigorous, spreading, semi-evergreen to evergreen large shrub native to China.
Plant can reach 12 feet. The Willowleaf Cotoneaster has a graceful habit resulting from its thin arching branches.
The wrinkled, deeply veined, pointed, lance shaped leaves reach 4 x 1 inches in size. The foliage is deep glossy green above and white felted below.
The profuse white flowers are borne in large corymbs in late spring.
Flowers are followed by round, shiny red berries, up to 0.25 inches, in autumn and persisting into winter.
Hardy zones 5 to 8, tolerating as low as – 20 F

Cotoneaster serotinus
This is a vigorous evergreen, small, tree that is native to western China.
The plant can reach 12 to 15 feet in height.
The oval leaves, reaching 3.2 inches in length, are deep green above, gray felted beneath.
The white flowers are borne in large corymbs, up to 3.2 inches across, during mid to late summer.
Flowers are followed by very persistent bright red berries.
Hardy zones 6 to 9

Cotoneaster simonsii (Simon’s Cotoneaster)
A handsome, vigorous, upright, large, semi-evergreen shrub native to northern India and the eastern Himalayas.
The plant can reach 10 x 10 feet
Great for the back of a large shrub border and as a hedge.
The oval leaves are up to 1.5 x 0.7 inches in size. The foliage is glossy deep green above, lighter green and bristly hairy beneath. The leaves turn red in autumn.
The flowers are either single or in small cymes, white with a pink tinge, and are borne in early summer.
Flowers are followed by persistent red fruit up to 0.8 inches.
Hardy zone 5 to 8
Plant in full sun to partial shade on well drained soil.  Drought tolerant; prune hedges late winters into early spring.

Cotoneaster splendens (Sabrina Cotoneaster)
A very vigorous, dense, wide-spread, rounded deciduous shrub with bowed branches that is native to northwest China.
Plant reaches 6 x 6 feet.
The elliptical leaves reach 0.7 x 0.5 inches in size.
The foliage is glossy bright green and hairy above, white felted beneath. The attractive fall color is usually intense red to red-purple but may also be orange.
The pinkish-white flowers are produced in cymes of 3 to 7.
Flowers are followed by spectacular massed orange-red berries.
Hardy zone 4 to 8.
A mountain plant in the wild, it enjoys the cool moist summer climate of the British Isles and the Pacific Northwest. It does not grow well in parts of the eastern U.S. where summers are hot and humid, where it can be prone to Fire Blight. Plant is drought tolerant and little pruning is needed.

Cotoneaster turbinatus
This is a rapid growing shrub that reaches 3 X 3 feet.
The leaves reach 3.5 x 1.3 inches, are deep blue-green above, and gray felted beneath.
The fruits are scarlet.
Hardy down to zone 7

Cotoneaster x watereri (Waterer Cotoneaster)
It is a vigorous small evergreen tree.
Plant reaches 10 x 10 feet in 10 years.
The heavily veined, oval leaves reach 5 inches in length.  The foliage is deep green above and felted beneath.
The white flowers are borne in clusters, up to 3.2 inches across, during summer.
Flowers are followed by round red berries that persist almost into the following spring.
Hardy zone 5 to 8

16 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for the information here, Charlie.
    Now I know what kind of cotoneaster I have! 🙂

    • I am so fortunate that my locale nurseries really likes them so the options are really great. I think the Cotoneaster lacteus in the corner of my garden is my favorite. They attract birds in winter because of berries and in spring they provide great habitat. It has improved the number of birds in the garden so my pest problems has dropped to near zero.
      Charlie@Seattle Trekker recently posted..CotoneastersMy Profile

  2. As a professional gardener the most common mistake I saw people make with cottoneasters was planting low, spreading varieties under deciduous trees. Even a leaf blower can’t get the leaves out of them in the fall, so it’s all hand picking.

  3. Hi Charlie, I have only ever really grown ‘horizontalis’, which I love for the berries and the autumn colour, but there are so very many other garden-worthy versions. Nice post!
    Janet/Plantaliscious recently posted..End of Month View April 2013My Profile

    • I have two Cotoneaster lacteus shrubs planted in the back corner of the garden. I really love the arching branches and the fact that they provide a protected spot for birds to hide from predators. The berries are an added plus.

  4. I’m in the cotoneaster fan camp. Several of them are very nice cultivars. I have three of the variegated prostrate form that tumble down the walls. I also have a another larger shrub in partial shade (here). Thanks for giving it a starring place on your blog.~~Dee

  5. We had a couple of large tree type cotoneasters in our last garden. Here I try to plant indigenous – so I have Searsia/Rhus with tiny berries for the fruit-loving birds.

    (Sadly you left your comment on a PSA I’m about to delete. I hope you will visit again)
    Diana Studer recently posted..First plant your treesMy Profile

  6. I have Cotoneaster lacteus and horizontalis and I really enjoy both. A tree form might be really nice.
    Charlie@Seattle Trekker recently posted..CotoneastersMy Profile

  7. I just ripped out Cotoneaster horizontalis ‘Coral Beauty”. It is very aggressive and was even difficult to remove. I liked it for the small flowers and berries but it became difficult to control. I got them free from a bank job we did, and should have known they are much better for commercial use, but I can’t turn down free plants.
    Donna recently posted..April Garden Wrapup and the Pretty Pictures of DroughtMy Profile

    • Free plants are orphans that by our nature we cannot let go. When I first started taking plant id classes they would point out the lessons of the right plant in the right spot and it never sank in until I had planted a few in my garden, free plants, in the wrong spot.

  8. Never heard of this shrub – but it looks nice in flower.
    ladyfi recently posted..BeribbonedMy Profile

  9. Wow – thanks so much for this very comprehensive list! Hedge cotoneasters are quite common here – they’re tough, low-maintenance, and make wonderful habitat for birds!
    Sheryl @ Flowery Prose recently posted..Could it really be here?My Profile

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