Content Detail

The stiff, arching branches of the cranberry cotoneaster form an impenetrable mass, making it very effective cascading over a wall, in a shrub border, as a foundation plant, or a ground cover.  Small, dark green, glossy leaves and cranberry-red fruit make it a nice addition to the landscape.  

  • Family (English) Rose
  • Family (botanic) Rosaceae
  • Tree or plant type Ground cover, Shrub
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, clay soil, Dry sites, Occasional drought, Road salt
  • Season of interest late spring, early summer, midsummer, late summer, early fall, mid fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Pink
  • Shape or form Arching, Mounded
  • Growth rate Slow

Size and form:

Cranberry cotoneaster is 2 to 3 feet high and 3 to 6 feet wide with a spreading habit, often with arching branches. It can be used as a shrub or a trailing ground cover. Trailing groundcovers have trailing stems that spread out from the central root system. These stems spread out horizontally over the ground, but do not root to the ground.

Native geographic location and habitat:

It is native to China.

Bark color and texture:

The stiff, arching branches form an impenetrable mass.

Leaf description:

The small, simple, alternate, glossy, dark green leaves are less than 1 inch long. Fall color is bronze-red and is retained into November.

Flower description:

Small, pinkish solitary flowers bloom in late spring.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

It produces cranberry-red fruit (pomes).

Plant care:

Cranberry cotoneaster is tolerant of many conditions including drought, salt, alkaline and clay. Avoid wet planting sites. It is generally a low-maintenance plant.

List of pests, diseases and tolerances:

Mites and scale insects are potential problems.


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