Cotoneaster integerrimus 'Centennial'
Common Name: cotoneaster 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Rosaceae
Zone: 3 to 5
Height: 8.00 to 12.00 feet
Spread: 12.00 to 15.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Pink
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Insignificant

Culture

Best grown in moist, moderately fertile, well-drained loams in full sun. Tolerates part shade. Good soil drainage is important. Prefers consistently moist soils, but tolerates short periods of drought. Avoid wet, poorly-drained soils. This is a tough and adaptable plant that can withstand poor soils, including rocky ones. Propagate by stem cuttings or seed. Rarely self-seeds. Likes cool summer growing conditions and is not recommended for planting south of USDA Zone 5.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Cotoneaster integerrimus, commonly called cotoneaster or European cotoneaster, is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub in the rose family that typically grows with an upright broad-spreading crown to 5-6’ tall and as wide. It is native to rocky slopes and forests in Europe and Asia. Broad elliptic to suborbicular leaves (to 1 1/2” long) are medium green to gray-green above with a felty gray-green pubescence beneath. Tiny, inconspicuous, pink-tinged, 5-petalled flowers (each to 1/3" diameter) bloom in nodding 2-4 flowered clusters (corymbs) in spring (May-June) followed by red berries (1/3”) in fall (September-October). Fruit is poisonous to humans.

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

Specific epithet from Latin means entire or whole in probable reference to the smooth leaf margins.

‘Centennial’ is a 1987 Conservation Plant Release from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) of the USDA. It is recommended for planting in the upper Great Plains for conservation use in windbreaks, wildlife habitat, recreational development and plantings along transportation and transmission corridors. ‘Centennial’ plants came from seed originally sent from China in 1957 to the Agricultural Experiment Station in Cheyenne, Wyoming. NRCS estimates that ‘Centennial’ will grow 8-12’ tall with a 12-15’ crown over the first 15 years, and will survive winters where average minimum temperatures range from -20 to -40 degrees F (USDA Zone 3). It produces abundant red fruit in fall.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Susceptible to fireblight which can be particularly troublesome in hot southern areas. Leaf spots and canker. Potential insect problems include cotoneaster webworm and lacebug. Watch for mites, particularly in hot and dry growing conditions. Dense foliage can present maintenance problems because of the difficulty of cleaning dead leaves and trash from the interior of a planting.

Uses

This cotoneaster offers good foliage, small but attractive flowers and showy red fruit. Foundations. Woodland gardens. Hedge. Screen. Windbreaks.