Cotoneaster suavis
Common Name: cotoneaster 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Rosaceae
Native Range: Caucasus region
Zone: 6 to 9
Height: 4.00 to 9.00 feet
Spread: 6.00 to 12.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Birds
Fruit: Showy
Tolerate: Rabbit, Drought, Erosion, Air Pollution

Culture

Best grown in moist, moderately fertile, well-drained loams in full sun to part shade. Good soil drainage is important. Tolerates dry soils. 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.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Cotoneaster suavis, commonly called cotoneaster, is a deciduous shrub in the rose family that typically grows to 4-9’ tall with upright-spreading branches. It is noted for its handsome foliage, white flowers in late spring and red fruit which typically ripens in early autumn. It is native to slopes, forest areas, thickets, and river valleys in China.

Deeply-veined, broadly-elliptic to suborbicular to ovate leaves (to 1-2” long) are glossy gray-green above with a white felty pubescence beneath. Near the northern edge of winter hardiness (USDA Zone 6), this shrub is basically deciduous. Tiny white 5-petaled flowers (each to 3/8” diameter) bloom along the branches in late spring (May-June) in 3-12 flowered corymbs. Flowers give way to red oval fruits (pomes) which mature to red in late summer to early fall (September-October).

This species is considered by many experts to be synonymous with Cotoneaster soongoricus var. soongoricus.

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

Specific epithet from Latin means sweet.

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.

Uses

This cotoneaster is an interesting landscape plant, but may be very difficult to find in commerce. It offers good foliage, small but attractive flowers and showy red fruit. Woodland gardens. Hedge. Good in small groups.