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.

F   E   A   T   U   R   E   S
  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


-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


-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


-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


-red-purple with persistent pubescence

-older stems olive-brown and lenticeled

-branches continuously arching with numerous side branchlets

-buds very small


-not applicable

C   U   L   T   U   R   E


-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


-zones 5 to 7


native to Western China

U   S   A   G   E


-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


-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


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


-fine texture in foliage but medium when bare

-open density in foliage and when bare

S   E   L   E   C   T   I   0   N   S

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


-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.)


Press the Back button in your browser.