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COTONEASTER microphyllus var. thymifolius

Image of Cotoneaster microphyllus var. thymifolius

James H. Schutte

Family

Rosaceae

Botanical Name

COTONEASTER microphyllus var. thymifolius

Plant Common Name

Littleleaf Cotoneaster, Thymeleaved Cotoneaster

General Description

Thyme-leaf cotoneaster is a very low-maintenance spreading evergreen shrub with tiny leaves with rolled edges and dark-red fruit in fall. Like its parent, a native of Nepal, in early summer it produces an abundance of pink buds that open to white flowers visited by bees. Once pollinated the flowers give way to rounded, red to dark-red fruits that small birds eat.. The main branches are horizontal, but secondary branches are held more upright and arching, especially when weighted with berries.

Thyme-leaf cotoneaster grows very nicely in full to part sun and well-drained sandy loams, although it tolerates a wide array of soils, it does not thrive in soggy soil.Plant this variety in a sunny rock garden and let it grow--it usually attains its prettiest form if not pruned. It should be considered for a groundcover on drier, rocky slopes or a low maintenance planting around foundations or parking lots.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    A3, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m (2)

  • Width

    4'-5' / 1.2m - 1.5m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer

  • Native To

    Nepal

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Pollution, Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Spreading

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Light Pink

  • Fruit Color

    Red, Dark Red

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Alpine, Groundcover, Rock Garden / Wall, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    No