Deciduous, Shrubs, Decorative fruit or berries
Varied natives to China, Himalayas, and northern India. Plants range from low types used as groundcovers to small, stiffly upright shrubs to tall (25 ft.) shrubs of fountainlike growth with graceful, arching branches. White or pink springtime flowers resembling tiny single roses are pretty because of their abundance, though not especially showy. Berries (typically red or orange-red) follow the blossoms in fall and winter. Some species can be invasive, spreading by seeds into wild areas.
Cotoneasters are useful, if not striking, shrubs and can be good-looking in the proper setting. Some are especially attractive in form and branching pattern (C. congestus, C. horizontalis), while some others (C. microphyllus) are notable for colorful fruit that is long lasting if birds don’t get it. Trailing varieties make excellent groundcovers. Low horizontal kinds die out in desert heat.
All cotoneasters thrive with little or no maintenance. In fact, they look better and produce better crops of berries if planted on dry slopes (where they can reduce erosion) or in poor soil rather than in rich, moist garden soil. While some medium and tall growers can be sheared, they look best when allowed to maintain natural fountain shapes. Prune only to enhance graceful arch of branches. Keep medium growers looking young by pruning out portion of oldest wood each year. Prune groundcovers to remove dead or awkward branches. Give flat growers room to spread. Don’t plant near walk or drive where branch ends will need stubbing. Some cotoneasters are susceptible to fireblight.
Deciduous. Native to China and northern India. At its best in cold-winter climates. Dense grower to 3 ft. tall and 6 ft. wide, with small, round leaves turning deep red in autumn. White spring flowers are followed by clustered red fruits about the size of large cranberries. Can take some shade. Use it as a bank cover, hedge, or background planting.
Native to Europe. Creeping perennials that spread by surface and underground runners to form low, dens...
This is the common species. Smaller in all its parts than P. grandiflora, with leaves to 2 in...
Native to Japan, China, and Korea. Twines to 15–30 ft. Grows fast in mild regions, more slowly w...