Cotoneasters (cuh-TONE-ee-ass-terz) are attractive and versatile additions to a residential landscape. There are many, many kinds of cotoneasters, most of which originated in Asia. Because they come in a wide range of types and sizes, they are often grouped according to size -- as either low or medium growing groundcovers or as tall shrubs. Most of these tall shrubs or trees have the evergreen leaves, small flowers and fall berries of their shorter relatives. Some types of tall cotoneasters are: Brightbead (Cotoneaster glaucophyllus), Henry (Cotoneaster henryanus), Silverleaf (Cotoneaster pannosus) and the hybrid x watereri.
Height and Spread
These taller types of cotoneaster are fairly fast growing. Their heights range from 6 to 10 feet, depending on the particular species. Developing on strong, upright stems, these shrubs typically grow about as wide as they are tall at any given stage in their growth. Permitted to grow unpruned, some may grow as tall as 20 feet or more.
Tall cotoneasters feature small white flowers which, depending on the variety of the plant, appear either as single blossoms or in clusters. They bloom in early summer, giving way in the fall to clusters of yellow, red or orange berries which usually last until late winter.
Tall or shrub cotoneasters usually have leaves that are a dark, shiny green. Individual leaves may be from 2 to 4 inches long. Depending on the variety of tall cotoneaster, they may be round, lance-shaped or oval with smooth edges. Because plants of this type are evergreen, their foliage lasts through the winter, sometimes developing a brownish or purplish tinge in the winter.
Tall Cotoneaster Choices
`Cornubia': broad, pointed leaves, large flower clusters; `Exburiensis: yellow fruit; `wardii'; leaves silver-grey and round, orange fruit; `Inchmery': light green leaves, coral fruit; `lacteus': dark red fruit, makes a good hedge.
Using Tall Contoneaster In Landscape
These shrubs may be planted as individual specimens in the yard, in a border garden of mixed plantings, or in a row to form a hedge. Many varieties of tall cotoneaster can be trained to become a single stemmed tree.