Cotoneaster nanshan

Common Name: creeping cotoneaster 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Rosaceae
Native Range: China
Zone: 4 to 7
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 4.00 to 6.00 feet
Bloom Time: May
Bloom Description: Pinkish
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Good Fall
Attracts: Birds
Fruit: Showy
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Rabbit, Air Pollution


Best grown in medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Tolerant of a wide range of soils.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Cotoneaster nanshan is a deciduous, low-growing shrub which is grown primarily for its red berries and attractive glossy green foliage. Arching and creeping stems of this plant grow together to form a dense, impenetrable, spreading, shrubby mound typically rising to 3' tall. Stems may root where they touch the ground. Tiny pink flowers in spring are not particularly showy. Flowers give way to an abundant crop of small, bright red, berry-like fruits which ripen in late summer and persist into winter. Fruits contrast well with the small, rounded, glossy dark green leaves (to 1" long). Leaves turn reddish purple in fall.

Genus name comes from the Latin cotonea meaning "quince" and aster meaning "resembling" or "similar to".


Susceptible to fireblight, leaf spots and canker. Watch for aphids, cotoneaster webworm and lacebugs. Mites may appear, particularly in hot and dry conditions.


Foundation plant, shrub border or bank cover. Appropriate when allowed to sprawl in informal, naturalized areas.