Content Detail

Spreading cotoneaster is a medium-sized, upright shrub with slender, densely branched stems. Tiny pink buds open in May to clusters of white flowers, and glossy, dark green summer foliage turns a kaleidoscope of orange, red, yellow and burgundy in fall.

  • Family (English) Rose
  • Family (botanic) Rosaceae
  • Tree or plant type Shrub
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Medium shrub (5-8 feet)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 4, Zone 5 (Chicago), Zone 6, Zone 7
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, Clay soil, Dry sites, Occasional drought, Road salt
  • Season of interest early fall, late summer, mid fall, mid spring, midsummer
  • Flower color and fragrance White
  • Shape or form Broad, Multi-stemmed, Round, Upright, Vase-shaped
  • Growth rate Moderate

Size and form:

This multi-stemmed, round, vase-shaped bush will mature to five to eight feet. 

Native geographic location and habitat:

It is native to western China.

Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife:

Birds are attracted to the red berries.

Bark color and texture:

Young stems are purplish that turn dark brown when aging.

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

Alternate, one to three inch long elliptical leaves. The lustrous dark green above and lighter beneath. Fall color is a combination or yellow-red-purple lasting for weeks.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

Small, rosy color, individual flowers or in clusters of three that are usually hidden by the leaves.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

A third inch, egg-shaped, dark red berry produced in mid-September through November.

Plant care:

Best planted in full sun to part shade in loose, fertile, well-drained soil. Plants are shallow-rooted and benefit with a layer of mulch to moderate soil temperature fluctuation. It can be pruned any time of year.

List of pests, diseases and tolerances:

It can get leaf spots, canker, and fire blight. Tolerant of wind, poor soils, and salt.


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