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Cotoneaster divaricatus

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Kemper Code:  C304

Common Name: cotoneaster
Zone: 4 to 7
Plant Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Rosaceae
Missouri Native: No
Native Range: China
Height: 5 to 6 feet
Spread: 6 to 8 feet
Bloom Time: May - June  
Bloom Color: White with pink tinge
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low

Plant Culture and Characteristics

Sources for this plant

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  Uses:       Wildlife:   Flowers:   Leaves:   Fruit:
Hedge Suitable as annual Attracts birds Has showy flowers Leaves colorful Has showy fruit
Shade tree Culinary herb Attracts Has fragrant flowers Leaves fragrant Fruit edible
Street tree Vegetable   hummingbirds Flowers not showy Good fall color   Other:
Flowering tree Water garden plant Attracts Good cut flower Evergreen Winter interest
Gr. cover (<1') Will naturalize   butterflies Good dried flower     Thorns or spines

General Culture:

Easily grown in moist, loamy, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Good drainage is essential. This is a tough and adaptable plant that tolerates poor soils and can withstand some drought once established. Prune only if needed (e.g., to remove old wood or to encourage arching branching). Mulch soil to discourage weeds from growing up within the dense branching. Propagate by stem cuttings or seeds.

Noteworthy Characteristics:

Spreading cotoneaster is an upright, rounded, densely branched, deciduous shrub that matures to 5-6 tall and spreads to 6-8 wide. It is particularly noted for its attractive form, glossy green leaves, dark red autumn fruit and autumn foliage colors. Branches extend to the ground, with the outer branches arching slightly downward. Small, 5-petaled, white flowers (1/4 wide) with tinges of pink bloom in spring (May-June). Flowers are perhaps valued more for their abundance than size. Flowers are followed by egg-shaped bright red fruits (1/2 long) that mature in fall and persist to the onset of winter. Ovate to elliptic, glossy dark green leaves (to 1 long) turn attractive shades of orange and red in fall.


No serious insect or disease problems. Susceptible to fireblight, leaf spot, canker, cotoneaster webworm and lace bug. Mites may appear, particularly in hot and dry conditions. Dense foliage can present maintenance problems because of the difficulty of cleaning dead leaves and trash from the interior of a planting.


This cotoneaster is a valuable landscape plant that offers good foliage, flowers and fruit. Hedge, screen, border or foundation. Group on slope or bank.

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2001-2011

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