Cotoneaster- Rose Box

Large genus of evergreen and deciduous shrubs, in which the ornamental value is provided by the beautiful berries, the graceful habit and occasionally the striking autumn colouring, as well as, to a lesser extent, by the flowers.


Some species, especially Cotoneaster dam-meri make excellent ground-cover. There are species specifically suitable for growing against walls, such as Cotoneaster horizontalis; others are suitable for hedge making, eg Cotoneaster simonsii; while the large, berried shrubs make excellent specimen plants. All others can be used in shrub borders, planted in front of other shrubs etc. Every garden might contain one or more Cotoneaster.


No special soil requirements.


The species are grown from seed. Garden forms by layering or by grafting .

Cotoneaster acutifolius: Height to 3 m, spreading habit; leaves oval to spear-shaped, deciduous; reddish flowers in late spring and early summer, red autumn colouring, black berries.

Cotoneaster adpressus: Height to 30 cm, creeping habit; pink flowers in late spring and early summer; oval, dull-green leaves, deciduous, initially downy. Red berries. Cotoneaster hullatus: Height to 3 m, spreading habit; pink flowers in late spring and early summer. The oval leaves, to 8 cm long, blistered on the upper surface, are retained in winter. Red berries.

Cotoneaster dammeri: Height 15-20 cm, prostrate habit, rooting branches; ideal as ground-cover; white flowers in late spring and early summer not very profuse. Leaves small, oval, dark green; they are retained in winter, but may turn brown as a result of frost. Red berries not very abundant. ‘Major’ is slightly larger in all its parts and more winter-hardy. ‘Skogholm’ may grow to 40 cm. Cotoneaster dielsianus syn Cotoneaster applanatus: Height to 2 m, arching branches; white flowers in late spring and early summer. Oval leaves, grey and felty underneath, dark green on the upper surface, deciduous; scarlet berries.

Cotoneaster divaricatus: Height to 2 m, slender, arching branches; pink flowers in late spring and early summer. The leaves are almost circular, green and glossy, deciduous; the oval berries are red.

Cotoneaster franchetii: Height to 2 m, up to 3 m across, arching branches; pink flowers in late spring and early summer; orange-red berries. The foliage is partially retained, dark green and glossy on the upper surface, grey and felty or slightly yellow on the reverse. Sometimes grafted on a 1.5 m tall stock to produce a very unusual specimen plant.

Cotoneaster horizontalis: Height to over 1 m; when trained it may spread over several metres. Has fairly profuse flowering in late spring, the flowers being white, tinged with pink. The ferny branching, small dark-green leaves, almost circular, are partially retained in winter. This is the obligatory house-wall shrub, which at one time was found under practically all windows. However, it is also very suitable for growing as a free-standing shrub. Cotoneaster microphyllus: Height 50-100 cm; white flowers in late spring; tiny leaves, oval, dark green and glossy, grey and felty underneath. Not many red berries, and in severe winters this shrub is usually badly damaged. Cotoneaster multiflorus: Height to 3 m; white flowers in clusters of 3-12 in late spring and early summer; they have a disagreeable scent. They are followed by innumerable red berries. The leaves are thin, oval to circular, green and glossy, deciduous in winter. This species should only be planted in the south or coastal districts; sensitive to frost. Cotoneaster praecox: Height to 60 cm; deep-pink flowers in late spring. The large red berries appear as early as late summer. The deciduous foliage is dark green. Adequately winter-hardy.

Cotoneaster salicifolius: Height to 3.5 m; fairly profuse flowering in mid summer; the flowers being white and followed by numerous red berries. The evergreen leaves are spear-shaped, pointed, grey and felty underneath, dull green and wrinkled on the upper surface. The finest variety is floccosus, which has gracefully arching branches. ‘Parkteppich’ is a low-growing, spreading form. Cotoneaster simonsii: Height to 3 m, erect-growing habit; pink and white flowers in late spring and early summer, followed by numerous coral-red berries. Partially evergreen, the glossy foliage is initially downy. Cotoneaster watereri hybrids: Height to 4 m; white flowers in early summer, followed by numerous, usually orange-red berries. The leaves are spear-shaped, but not wrinkled as in the case of Cotoneaster salicifolius, and most of the leaves drop in winter. There are particularly fine cultivars, for instance: ‘Aldenhamensis’, spreading habit; ‘Brandkjaer’, tall-growing, very winter-hardy; ‘Cornu-bia’, also erect-growing; ‘Pendula’, a beautiful weeping form.

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