Family: Rosaceae
type : Evergreen, Shrubs, Deciduous
sun exposure : Full Sun
water : Regular Water, Moderate Water, Drought Tolerant
Plant Details

One positive thing about cotoneasters is that many people call them cotton-easters, which is always good for a chuckle. But the party ends there. Except for a few species (noted below), cotoneasters typically look pretty dreadful in the Southern landscape. Prostrate types used for ground covers aren't dense enough to discourage weeds and grass. They mainly serve to snag litter. Young plants can look nice, as white or pinkish springtime flowers give rise to abundant orange or red berries in fall and winter. But susceptibility to spider mites, fireblight, and other pests send these Asian natives downhill fastwhich is ironic, considering that they're favorites for carpeting banks in front of hotels and shopping malls. Taller, arching types perform much better and are worthwhile additions to the home garden.

cranberry cotoneaster


cotoneaster apiculatus

  • Deciduous.
  • Zones US, MS; USDA 6-7.
  • Best in cold-winter areas.
  • Dense grower to 3 feet tall, 6 feet wide.
  • Small, round, medium-green leaves turn deep red in fall.
  • Clustered fruits are about the size of large cranberries.
  • Can take some shade.
  • Use as bank cover, hedge, background planting.
  • Tolerates alkaline soil.

bearberry cotoneaster

cotoneaster dammeri

  • Evergreen.
  • Zones US, MS, LS; USDA 6-8.
  • Fast, prostrate growth to 36 inches tall, 10 feet wide.
  • Branches root along ground.
  • Bright, glossy green leaves; bright red fruit.
  • Coral Beauty is 6 inches tall; 'Eichholz', 1012 inches tall with a scattering of red-orange leaves in fall; 'Lowfast', 1 feet tall; 'Mooncreeper' grows 810 inches high and has large flowers.
  • 'Skogsholmen', feet tall.
  • All are good ground covers in sun or partial shade and can drape over walls, cascade down slopes.
  • Susceptible to fireblight, lacebugs.

franchet cotoneaster

cotoneaster franchetii

  • Evergreen.
  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9.
  • Arching growth to 10 feet tall, 69 feet wide.
  • Leaves are grayish green when new, maturing to bright green; undersides are fuzzy.
  • Pink-tinged white flowers in clusters of up to 20 are followed by orange-red berries.
  • Good performer in the Southeast.

grayleaf cotoneaster

cotoneaster glaucophyllus

  • Evergreen.
  • Zones MS, LS; USDA 7-8.
  • To 68 feet tall and broad, with gracefully arching branches clothed in gray-green foliage.
  • Dense clusters of white flowers are followed by dark red berries.
  • Attractive in shrub beds or as informal hedge.
  • Tolerates alkaline soil.

rock cotoneaster

cotoneaster horizontalis

  • Deciduous.
  • Zones US, MS; USDA 6-7.
  • Can be 23 feet tall, 15 feet wide, with stiff horizontal branches, many branchlets set in herringbone pattern.
  • Leaves are small, round, bright green; turn orange and red before falling.
  • Out of leaf very briey.
  • Showy red fruits.
  • Give it room to spread.
  • Fine bank cover or low trafc barrier.
  • Variegatus has leaves edged in white.
  • Cotoneaster h.
  • perpusillus is smaller, more compact than species.

willowleaf cotoneaster

cotoneaster lacteus(Cotoneaster parneyi)

  • Evergreen.
  • Zones MS, LS, CS; USDA 7-9.
  • Graceful, arching habit to 8 feet or taller, 10 feet or wider, with dark green leaves 2 inches long, clustered white owers, and a heavy crop of long-lasting red fruit in 2- to 3 inches clusters.
  • Best as informal hedge, screen, or espalier.
  • Can be clipped as formal hedge, but form suffers.
  • Best cotoneaster for the Southeast.

cotoneaster salicifolius

  • Evergreen or semievergreen.
  • Zones US, MS; USDA 6-7.
  • Erect, spreading shrub, 1518 feet high and wide, with narrow, dark green, 1- to 312 inches-long leaves and bright red fruits.
  • Graceful screening or background plant.
  • Better known are trailing forms used as ground covers.
  • Compact, small-leafed 'Emerald Carpet' is 1215 inches tall, spreading to 8 feet wide; 'Autumn Fire' ('Herbstfeuer') grows to 23 feet tall and 8 feet wide.
  • Repens is similar; it is sometimes grafted to another cotoneaster species and grown as a weeping tree.
  • Very susceptible to lacebugs.

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