Content Detail

Showy cotoneaster is a useful ornamental shrub for a mixed border, en masse, for screening, or as a single specimen. Abundant clusters of small, white flowers cover the showy cotoneaster in spring. In fall, the shrub’s yellow-tinted foliage acts as a backdrop for the bright red fruit. Plant the showy cotoneaster in full sun to ensure an outstanding display.

  • Family (English) Rose
  • Family (botanic) Rosaceae
  • Tree or plant type Shrub
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Large shrub (more than 8 feet)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct 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
  • Season of interest mid spring, late spring, late summer, early fall
  • Flower color and fragrance White
  • Shape or form Arching, Mounded
  • Growth rate Fast, Moderate

Size and Form: 

Showy cotoneaster is 8 to 12 feet high and 10 to 15 feet wide with an upright rounded form.

Native geographic location and habitat: 

Native to China

Attracts birds & butterflies:

Provides food and shelter for a number of bird species.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture: 

Simple, alternate, small leaves are about 1 to 2 inches long. New leaves are gray-green, turning blue-green in summer. Fall color is a soft yellow.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

Small, white flowers in clusters appear in late spring. They have a slightly unpleasant smell.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions: 

Showy red, 1/3-inch diameter fruits (pomes) in late summer into fall which appear with the leaves adding a nice color contrast in the fall.

Plant care:

Showy cotoneaster should be planted in open sunny sites for best flowers and fruit. Prefers well-drained soil. Avoid wet sites.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances:

Leaf spots, fire blight, and Japanese beetles are sometimes problems with this plant.


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