Cotoneaster apiculatus - Cranberry Cotoneaster
Family: Rosaceae

Hear the scientific name

Cotoneaster apiculatus is a low arching to mounding shrub, with glossy small leaves and prominent globular red fruits. Cranberry Cotoneaster is often utilized as an edging or facer shrub or as a tall groundcover.

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  form Form

-low sprawling deciduous shrub or moderately tall woody groundcover

-maturing at 1.5' tall x 5' wide

-arching mound and spreading mound growth habit, with branches sometimes rooting as they touch the ground

-slow growth rate

Foliage

-dark glossy green

-alternate and small, to 0.5" long

-broadly elliptical to rhombic, with an acute tip and an undulating leaf margin

-spider mite cosmetic leaf damage, especially during hot and dry summers, is common in this species

-autumn color is a mixture of green, yellow, orange, red, and wine, slowly absicing

Flowers
flowers

-pink buds opening to white-pink flowers tightly pressed to the stems, in late May and early June

-many very small clustered flowers

-effective as a whole plant in flower, especially up-close, but not overwhelming

Fruit
fruit

-red, maturing in late Aug. and a very effective contrast in late summer and early autumn while the foliage is still a glossy dark green

-0.25" diameter and persistent into early winter

-effective display when in mass plantings

Twig

-red-purple with persistent pubescence

-older stems olive-brown and lenticeled

-branches continuously arching with numerous side branchlets

-buds very small

Trunk

-not applicable

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Culture

-full sun to partial shade

-prefers moist, well-drained soils but is very urban stress tolerant, including poor soils, soil pHs, drought, pruning, salt spray, and some soil compaction

-propagated by rooted cuttings or seeds

-Rose Family, with the primary pest problem being spider mites that cause cosmetic leaf damage, and occasionally fireblight disease to the young stems

-mulch to prevent weeds from arising through the center of the shrub, due to the small foliage that allows light penetration to the ground

-abundantly available in containers

Hardiness

-zones 5 to 7

Origin

native to Western China

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Assets

-lustrous dark green foliage

-arching branches

-red cranberry-like fruits (hence the common name) that are dense and persistent into early winter

-salt spray tolerant

Liabilities

-garbage and dead leaf collector because of low, arching, many-stemmed profile

-slow growth

-spider mites are a frequent foliage cosmetic problem, especially when the plant is under heat and drought stress in summer

Function

-shrub or groundcover effective as an edging, facer, embankment, mass planting, low barrier, foundation, wall, or raised planter (short cascading effect) woody plant

Texture

-fine texture in foliage but medium when bare

-open density in foliage and when bare

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Varieties and Cultivars - Search OSU PlantFacts for additional plants in this species

Alternates

-other low-profile groundcover shrubs, especially those with arching stems, attractive foliage, and/or showy fruits (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, Erica, Juniperus conferta, Juniperus horizontalis, Microbiota decussata, Mitchella repens, etc.)

 


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