Cotoneaster divaricatus

5 Nov

Cotoneaster divaricatus autumn leaf (01/11/2011, London)

Cotoneaster divaricatus autumn leaf (01/11/2011, London)

Position: Full Sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Spring to early Summer

Soil: Well drained

Eventual Height: 2m

Eventual Spread: 3m

Hardiness: 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a

Family: Rosaceae

Cotoneaster divaricatus is a medium sized deciduous shrub with an upright, columnar growth habit, becoming horizontal and spreading with age. It’s foliage is dark, glossy green in colour. It’s leaves are 2cm long, alternate, elliptical, with flattened, entire margins. The leaves of this plant turn bright red in autumn. The stems of the plant are purple/ brown in colour and have a waxy coating that flakes off with age. The hermaphrodite flowers of the plant are held tightly against the stems, blossoming in late May and early June. They are borne from pink buds to small 5 petals and are white or pink and are numerous. The 1cm fruits of the plant are egg shaped and are bright red in colour.

Cotoneaster divaricatus autumn (01/11/2011, London)

Cotoneaster divaricatus autumn (01/11/2011, London)

Cotoneaster divaricatus, commonly known as Spreading Cotoneaster, is native t0 west China. This plant was introduced into the UK in 1904 as a garden species. In 1983 it was recorded in the wild in Kent, probably bird sown, and it is suspected that it may be spreading.

The etymological root of the binomial name Cotoneaster is derived from the old Latin name cotone ’quince’, aster being a Latin substantival suffix indicating ‘resembling’. Divaricatus is derived from the Latin meaning ‘spreading out’ or ‘growing in a straggly manner’.

The landscape architect may find Cotoneaster divaricatus useful as an impenetrable informal hedge. It can be planted en mass to great effect due to it’s autumn colour. It is also tolerant of urban conditions and some salt exposure.

Ecologically Cotoneaster divaricatus is pollinated by flies, bees and midges. 

Cotoneaster divaricatus will tolerate most soils although it prefers well drained soil. It is tolerant most soil pH. It will  tolerate poor soils and soil compaction.

Cotoneaster divaricatus requires little maintenance. Hedge maintenance should be carried out in late winter.


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