Cotoneaster divaricatus
Common Name: cotoneaster 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Rosaceae
Native Range: China
Zone: 4 to 7
Height: 5.00 to 6.00 feet
Spread: 6.00 to 8.00 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
Leaf: Good Fall
Fruit: Showy
Tolerate: Rabbit, Drought, Air Pollution

Culture

Easily grown 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 (e.g., to remove old wood or to encourage arching branching). Mulch soil to discourage weeds from growing up within the dense branching. Propagate by stem cuttings or seeds.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Cotoneaster divaricatus, commonly called spreading cotoneaster, is an upright, rounded, densely branched, deciduous shrub that matures to 5-6’ tall and spreads to 6-8’ wide. It is particularly noted for its attractive form, glossy green leaves, dark red autumn fruit and autumn foliage colors. Branches extend to the ground, with the outer branches arching slightly downward. Small, 5-petaled, white flowers (1/4” wide) with tinges of pink bloom in spring (May-June). Flowers are perhaps valued more for their abundance than size. Flowers are followed by egg-shaped bright red fruits (1/2” long) that mature in fall and persist to the onset of winter. Ovate to elliptic, glossy dark green leaves (to 1” long) turn attractive shades of orange and red in fall.

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

Specific epithet means spreading.

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.

Uses

This cotoneaster is a valuable landscape plant that offers good foliage, flowers and fruit. Hedge, screen, border or foundation. Group on slope or bank.