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COTONEASTER wardii

Image of Cotoneaster wardii

John Rickard

Family

Rosaceae

Botanical Name

COTONEASTER wardii

Plant Common Name

Ward's Cotoneaster

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

This Old World genus comprises approximately 80 species of deciduous and evergreen shrubs and small trees, several of which are popular garden subjects. Prostrate and trailing forms of Cotoneaster horizontalis, C. dammeri, C. apiculatus, and C. salicifolius are familiar and widely used groundcovers. Taller cotoneasters (such as C. multiflorus) are less common in landscapes, but are occasionally planted for their attractive flowers and foliage and showy fruit.

These hardy woody plants bear small (or occasionally larger), rounded, leathery leaves that alternate along trailing to erect, straight to zigzag stems. Leaf color ranges from deep- to gray-green, with deciduous cotoneasters often turning brilliant hues in fall. Small, solitary or clustered, unscented or faintly malodorous flowers open in late spring or summer in shades of white or pink. They are a favorite of bees. Spherical, berry-like fruits follow the flowers, ripening to red, black, orange, or yellow in late summer, sometimes to spectacular effect. The "berries" of some cotoneasters persist until late winter or early spring before being harvested by birds and other wildlife.

Most cotoneasters are adaptable, doing well in full to partial sun and moist, well-drained to heavy soil. Many tolerate seaside conditions. Prostrate cotoneasters are perfect for massing on slopes and walls, where their cascading growth and eye-catching fruit can show to best effect. Their interweaving branches trap blowing leaves and other debris, giving them a somewhat deserved reputation as "trashcan plants." Larger cotoneasters make good candidates for shrub borders and hedges. All cotoneasters (particularly large-leaved species such as C. salicifolius) are susceptible to fireblight. In some regions, cotoneaster species have escaped gardens to become troublesome weeds (check with government conservation agencies for lists of exotic weeds of local concern).

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    10 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Bloom Time

    Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall

  • Native To

    Europe, Northern Africa, Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Pollution, Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Pink

  • Fruit Color

    Yellow, Red, Purple, Orange, Pink, Black

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Yellow, Red, Green, Orange

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green

  • Bark Color

    Brown, 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

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Container, Foundation, Groundcover, Hedges, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Screening / Wind Break, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes