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Cotoneaster microphyllus

Phonetic Spelling
koh-toh-nee-ASS-ter my-kro-FIL-us
Description

Littleleaf or Small-leaved Cotoneaster is a low-growing evergreen to a semi-evergreen shrub that spreads wider than tall. It is native to rocky slopes and thickets in the Himalayas. Mature shrubs will be 2-3 feet tall and 6-8 feet wide. They grow in any well-drained soil, even rocky ones, in full sun to part shade. 

Small white flowers form on the stiff horizontal stems in spring and are followed by bright red fruits that persist into winter. Do not plant where an invasive spread is a concern as it has escaped cultivation in some areas of the country. It does well in woodland and rock gardens, on slopes or as a low hedge. The root system is extensive and the branches root as it grows which makes it helpful with erosion control.

This plant is drought tolerant but susceptible to fire blight and spider mites, especially in warmer areas.

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#full sun#partial shade#drought tolerant#weedy#winter interest#slopes#rabbit resistant#hedges#woodland#rock gardens#pomes#fruits#rock walls#bird friendly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#full sun#partial shade#drought tolerant#weedy#winter interest#slopes#rabbit resistant#hedges#woodland#rock gardens#pomes#fruits#rock walls#bird friendly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Cotoneaster
    Species:
    microphyllus
    Family:
    Rosaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Branches used for making baskets
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Himalaya to China (Sichuan, Yunnan) and N. Myanmar, NW. India
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts birds, pollinators
    Play Value:
    Screening
    Wildlife Cover/Habitat
    Wildlife Food Source
    Edibility:
    Fruits are edible if cooked
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 6 ft. 0 in. - 8 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Fine
  • 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:
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Pome
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    1/4 inch round red fruits appear along the stems and persist into winter.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    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:
    1/3 inch white solitary flowers appear along the branches in April to June
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    1/2 inch alternate, simple, dark green leaves have densely woolly undersides. Margins tend to curl downward.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Rock Wall
    Slope/Bank
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Rock Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Barrier
    Border
    Hedge
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Rabbits
    Problems:
    Weedy