Cotoneaster dammeri 'Coral Beauty'
Common Name: bearberry cotoneaster 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Rosaceae
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 4.00 to 6.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: White with purple anthers
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen
Attracts: Butterflies
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Drought, Erosion

Culture

Best grown in moist, loamy, sharply-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Requires little supplemental watering once established. Prune to shape as needed (planting spreads and often becomes ragged over time). Plants dislike hot summer conditions and often struggle south of USDA Zone 7.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Cotoneaster dammeri, commonly called bearberry cotoneaster, is a dense, fast-growing, prostrate ground cover that grows to 1’ tall but spreads to 6’ wide or more on stiff, slender, prostrate branches that root at the nodes where they touch the ground. It is native to mountain regions, cliff sides, open mixed forests and rocky ground in central to southern China. Alternate, leathery, elliptic to oblong, mostly evergreen leaves (to 1 1/ 4” long and to 5/8” wide) are glossy deep green above and gray-green below. Leaves acquire reddish-bronze to purple tones in winter. White, 5-petaled, 1/2” diameter flowers with purple anthers bloom singly or in pairs in May-June. Flowers are followed by red berries (pomes to 1-4” wide) which ripen in late summer but persist through winter unless consumed by birds or animals. Berry crop is often small.

Genus name comes from the Latin words cotoneum meaning quince and -aster meaning resembling.

Specific epithet honors Carl Lebrecht Dammer (1860-1920), German botanist at the Botanical Museum in Berlin.

Common name of bearberry cotoneaster is in reference to the fact that bears will feed on the berries in winter in parts of the U.S.

‘Coral Beauty’ is a cultivar which is primarily distinguished from species plants by having: (1) more compact habit; (2) leaves a bit shinier; and (3) more abundant fruit crop. ‘Coral Beauty’ is sometimes sold under the synonymous cultivar names of ‘Royal Beauty’ and 'Pink Beauty’. RHS Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Susceptible to fireblight, leaf spots and canker. Watch for aphids, cotoneaster webworm and lacebugs. 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.

Garden Uses

Creeping cotoneaster is a valuable landscape plant that offers good foliage, flowers and fruit. Mass as a woody ground cover for sunny areas in the landscape including banks and slopes where it can also provide some erosion control. Sprawl over rocks in rock gardens or dangle over stone walls. Foundations.