Plant DetailShow Menu

Cotoneaster dammeri

Phonetic Spelling
koh-toh-nee-ASS-ter dah-MER-ee
Description

Bearberry cotoneaster is an easy to grow evergreen to semi-evergreen low growing spreading shrub that can reach 1 foot tall and 6 feet wide. Its common name comes from the attraction as a food source the berries receive from bears.   It grows from a central root system, with a trailing habit that will root along the ground as is grows and spreads. New shoots are formed where rooting occurs.  Over time, a thicket can be formed. 

Due to the rooting capabilities of Bearberry cotoneaster, the easiest method of propagation can be accomplished by layering.  This is typically done in the fall.  Softwood cuttings in the early summer is another successful method.  

The small, insignificant, white spring flowers boom in May and are followed by red fruits that persist into winter. Fall leaf color is reddish-bronze to purple. It prefers well-drained, loam based soils, however, is adaptable to various soil types. 

Effective in rock gardens and low banks for erosion control. It is drought tolerant once established and will quickly cover an area. Occasional watering will give you a better fruit production.  Prune as needed to prevent a ragged appearance.

Ingested fruits may cause mild stomach upset.

Growing in zones south of zone 7 may not produce the best conditions for Bearberry cotoneaster.  It will struggle during the hot summers.  

Quick ID Hints:

  • Low-growing evergreen shrub with prostrate twigs
  • Small, elliptic-oblong leaves on dwarf shoots
  • The red berry has a 5-pointed star at the end
  • Branching occurs in all planes

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Prone to attack by lace bugs. Spider mites can occur in dry conditions.  Scale and fireblight can also affect this plant.

May need protection in locations with colder climates.  

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Coral Beauty' also sold as 'Royal Beauty' and 'Pink Beauty'
    More compact form, shiny leaves with plenty fruit.
'Coral Beauty' also sold as 'Royal Beauty' and 'Pink Beauty'
Tags:
#evergreen#full sun tolerant#drought tolerant#semi-evergreen#showy#berries#erosion control#year-round interest#showy fruits#stream banks#dense#naturalizes#rock gardens#naturalized area#fantz#pomes#rock walls#bird friendly#dry soils tolerant#butterfly friendly#partial shade tolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Coral Beauty' also sold as 'Royal Beauty' and 'Pink Beauty'
    More compact form, shiny leaves with plenty fruit.
'Coral Beauty' also sold as 'Royal Beauty' and 'Pink Beauty'
Tags:
#evergreen#full sun tolerant#drought tolerant#semi-evergreen#showy#berries#erosion control#year-round interest#showy fruits#stream banks#dense#naturalizes#rock gardens#naturalized area#fantz#pomes#rock walls#bird friendly#dry soils tolerant#butterfly friendly#partial shade tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Cotoneaster
    Species:
    dammeri
    Family:
    Rosaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Layering
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Tibet to Central China
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts birds, butterflies and both small and large wildlife.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Defines Paths
    Easy to Grow
    Textural
    Wildlife Food Source
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 4 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Creeping
    Dense
    Horizontal
    Prostrate
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    3 feet-6 feet
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Pome
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    The 1-4 inch red berries with a 5-pointed star at the end appear in summer and persist into winter. The crop is sometimes small. Birds and animals devour the fruits.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Saucer
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    5 petaled 1/2 inch white flowers with purple anthers appear from late spring to early summer. They may bloom as a single flower or in pairs.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leathery
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Oblong
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    The dark green leaves are 1 1/4 inch long and 5/8 inch wide with glossy gray-green undersides. The fall color is bronzy-red to purplish.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Brown
    Light Gray
    Bark Description:
    The bark is a light gray to light brown.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Fine, pubescent when young, changing to reddish-brown at maturity. It branches in all planes. The branches are slender and stiff.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Patio
    Pool/Hardscape
    Riparian
    Rock Wall
    Slope/Bank
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Foundation Planting
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Erosion