Cotoneaster acutifolius
Common Name: cotoneaster 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Rosaceae
Native Range: Siberia to China
Zone: 4 to 7
Height: 6.00 to 10.00 feet
Spread: 6.00 to 10.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: White with pink tinge
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy
Fruit: Showy
Tolerate: Rabbit, Drought, Air Pollution

Culture

Grow 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. Mulch soil to discourage weeds from growing up within the branching. Propagate by stem cuttings or seeds.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Cotoneaster acutifolius, commonly called Peking cotoneaster, is an upright, deciduous shrub with a rounded top that typically grows to 6-10’ tall and as wide. It is noted for its pubescent twigs, pinkish-white spring flowers, dull green foliage, interesting fall color and persistent black fruits. Small, 5-petaled, white flowers with tinges of pink bloom in spring (May-June). Flowers have limited ornamental value. Flowers are followed by elliptic black fruits (3/4” long) that mature in fall and persist into winter. Ovate to elliptic, dull green leaves (to 2” long) are pubescent on both sides in the early part of the growing season. Leaves turn attractive shades of orange and red in fall. This plant is very similar in overall appearance to C. lucidus except the latter is noted for having shiny dark green leaves with less spring pubescence.

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

Specific epithet means with sharply pointed leaves.

Problems

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.

Garden Uses

This cotoneaster is an interesting landscape plant that offers good foliage, flowers and fruit. It is not considered to be highly ornamental, but will grow nicely with minimal effort as an informal hedge or screen. Specimen for borders. Group on a slope, bank or wood margin.