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Tree Cotoneaster

Cotoneaster frigidus

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Rosaceae (Rose)
Also in this family:
Acute Leaf-lobed Lady's-mantle, Alpine Cinquefoil, Alpine Lady's-mantle, Ampfield Cotoneaster, Arran Service Tree, Arran Whitebeam, Barren Strawberry, Bastard Agrimony, Bastard Service Tree, Bearberry Cotoneaster, Bird Cherry, Blackthorn, Bloody Whitebeam, Bramble, Bristol Whitebeam, Broad-leaved Whitebeam, Broadtooth Lady's-mantle, Bronze Pirri-pirri-bur, Bullace Plum, Bullate Cotoneaster, Burnet Rose, Catacol Whitebeam, Caucasian Lady's-mantle, Cheddar Whitebeam, Cherry Laurel, Cherry Plum, Chinese Photinia, Cloudberry, Clustered Lady's-mantle, Common Agrimony, Common Hawthorn, Common Lady's-mantle, Common Medlar, Common Ninebark, Common Whitebeam, Crab Apple, Creeping Chinese Bramble, Creeping Cinquefoil, Crimean Lady's-mantle, Cultivated Apple, Cultivated Pear, Cut-leaved Blackberry, Damson, Devon Whitebeam, Dewberry, Diel's Cotoneaster, Dog Rose, Doward Whitebeam, Dropwort, Elm-leaved Bramble, English Whitebeam, Entire-leaved Cotoneaster, False Salmonberry, Field Rose, Firethorn, Fodder Burnet, Fragrant Agrimony, Franchet's Cotoneaster, Garden Lady's-mantle, Garden Strawberry, Giant Meadowsweet, Glaucous Dog Rose, Goatsbeard Spiraea, Gough's Rock Whitebeam, Great Burnet, Greengage Plum, Grey-leaved Whitebeam, Hairless Lady's-mantle, Hairy Lady's-mantle, Hautbois Strawberry, Himalayan Blackberry, Himalayan Cotoneaster, Himalayan Whitebeam, Hoary Cinquefoil, Hollyberry Cotoneaster, Hupeh Rowan, Hybrid Cinquefoil, Hybrid Geum, Irish Whitebeam, Japanese Cherry, Japanese Quince, Japanese Rose, Jew's Mallow, Juneberry, Lancaster Whitebeam, Late Cotoneaster, Least Lady's-mantle, Least Whitebeam, Leigh Woods Whitebeam, Ley's Whitebeam, Liljefor's Whitebeam, Littleleaf Cotoneaster, Llangollen Whitebeam, Llanthony Whitebeam, Lleyn Cotoneaster, Loganberry, Many-flowered Rose, Margaret's Whitebeam, Marsh Cinquefoil, Meadowsweet, Midland Hawthorn, Mougeot's Whitebeam, Mountain Ash, Mountain Avens, Mountain Sibbaldia, Moupin's Cotoneaster, No Parking Whitebeam, Ocean Spray, Orange Whitebeam, Pale Bridewort, Pale Lady's-mantle, Parsley Piert, Pirri-pirri-bur, Plymouth Pear, Portuguese Laurel, Purple-flowered Raspberry, Quince, Raspberry, Rock Cinquefoil, Rock Lady's-mantle, Rock Whitebeam, Round-leaved Dog Rose, Round-leaved Whitebeam, Rum Cherry, Russian Cinquefoil, Salad Burnet, Sargent's Rowan, Scannell's Whitebeam, Service Tree, Sharp-toothed Whitebeam, Sherard's Downy Rose, Shining Lady's-mantle, Ship Rock Whitebeam, Short-styled Rose, Shrubby Cinquefoil, Silver Lady's-mantle, Silverweed, Slender Parsley Piert, Slender-spined Bramble, Small-flowered Sweetbriar, Small-leaved Sweetbriar, Soft Downy Rose, Somerset Whitebeam, Sorbaria, Sour Cherry, Southern Downy Rose, Southern Lady's-mantle, Spineless Acaena, Spring Cinquefoil, St. Lucie's Cherry, Steeplebush, Stern's Cotoneaster, Stirton's Whitebeam, Stone Bramble, Sulphur Cinquefoil, Swedish Service Tree, Swedish Whitebeam, Sweet Briar, Symond's Yat Whitebeam, Tengyueh Cotoneaster, Thimbleberry, Thin-leaved Whitebeam, Tibetan Cotoneaster, Tormentil, Trailing Tormentil, Trefoil Cinquefoil, Twin-cliffs Whitebeam, Two-spined Acaena, Wall Cotoneaster, Water Avens, Waterer's Cotoneaster, Waxy Lady's-mantle, Welsh Cotoneaster, Welsh Whitebeam, White Burnet, White's Whitebeam, White-stemmed Bramble, Wild Cherry, Wild Pear, Wild Plum, Wild Service Tree, Wild Strawberry, Willmott's Whitebeam, Willow-leaved Bridewort, Willow-leaved Cotoneaster, Wineberry, Wood Avens, Wye Whitebeam, Yellow-flowered Strawberry
Deciduous tree
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
3 metres tall
Gardens, grassland, hedgerows, riversides, wasteland, woodland.

White, 5 petals
Small white flowers. 20 stamens. The flower stalks are woolly.
Large clusters of globular, crimson red fruit (pomes), each up to 7mm across. Each fruit has 2 nutlets (sometimes 3). The fruit ripens in October.
A garden escape. The obovate or lanceolate leaves are between 3 and 5 inches long and 1 to 2 inches wide.
Other Names:
Himalayan Cotoneaster.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Cotoneaster frigidus is a species of flowering plant in the family Rosaceae, native to China. It is a deciduous shrub or small tree with dark green leaves and small, pink flowers that appear in the spring. In the fall, the plant produces small, red berries that are attractive to birds. Cotoneaster frigidus is known for its attractive flowers and berries and is often grown as an ornamental plant in gardens. It is also used in traditional Chinese medicine. The leaves of Cotoneaster frigidus are glossy and have a smooth margin. They are arranged alternately on the stem and are oblong or elliptical in shape. The specific epithet "frigidus" refers to the plant's ability to tolerate cold temperatures.


Cotoneaster frigidus, also known as the Tree Cotoneaster, is a deciduous shrub or small tree that is native to China, Bhutan, and Nepal. It is a beautiful and hardy species that is ideal for gardeners looking for a low-maintenance and attractive addition to their landscape.

Tree Cotoneaster is a slow-growing species, reaching a height of 8-10 feet and a width of 6-8 feet at maturity. The leaves are oval and glossy, with a dark green color in the summer and a brilliant red or orange in the fall. The branches are slender and drooping, providing a graceful and elegant form to the tree.

One of the most attractive features of the Tree Cotoneaster is its profuse flowering in the spring. The small, pink or white flowers are carried in clusters and are followed by bright red or orange berries that persist into winter. These berries are a valuable food source for birds, making the Tree Cotoneaster a great addition to a bird-friendly garden.

The Tree Cotoneaster is also a great choice for gardeners looking for a low-maintenance plant. It is drought-tolerant, does well in a wide range of soils, and is generally pest and disease-free. It can be grown in full sun or partial shade and does well in urban and suburban gardens, making it a versatile choice for many gardeners.

In addition to its ornamental value, the Tree Cotoneaster is also valued for its medicinal properties. The berries have been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat a variety of ailments, including digestive problems, skin disorders, and respiratory conditions. The leaves and bark are also used in traditional medicine, and research is underway to determine the effectiveness of these treatments.

Aside from its ornamental and medicinal value, the Tree Cotoneaster is also known for its adaptability and resistance to environmental stress. This makes it a great choice for areas with harsh climates, such as those that experience extreme temperatures, heavy winds, or poor soil conditions. It is also able to tolerate pollution and is able to grow in areas with high levels of air pollution, making it a popular choice for urban gardens.

Another great feature of the Tree Cotoneaster is its ability to provide excellent fall color. The leaves change to a brilliant red or orange in the fall, providing a stunning contrast to the bright red berries. This fall color makes the Tree Cotoneaster a great choice for gardeners who want to add some autumn interest to their landscape.

In terms of maintenance, the Tree Cotoneaster is a relatively low-maintenance species. It requires little to no pruning, except for the occasional removal of dead or damaged branches. It is also relatively drought-tolerant, making it an ideal choice for gardeners who live in areas with limited water. However, it is important to keep the soil moist and well-drained to ensure healthy growth.

When planting the Tree Cotoneaster, it is important to choose a location with well-draining soil and full sun or partial shade. It is also important to space the plants properly to ensure good air circulation and to prevent the growth of any fungal diseases. Once established, the Tree Cotoneaster is relatively low-maintenance and does not require much fertilizer or other care.

The Tree Cotoneaster is also a great choice for gardeners who are looking to attract wildlife to their yard. The bright red berries are a popular food source for birds, and the shrub provides cover and nesting sites for birds and other wildlife. This can be especially beneficial for gardeners who live in urban areas, as it provides a sanctuary for wildlife in an otherwise inhospitable environment.

In terms of design, the Tree Cotoneaster is a versatile species that can be used in a variety of garden styles. It can be used as a specimen plant, planted in a row as a hedge, or used as an accent plant in a mixed border. It also works well in rock gardens, where its low growth habit and drought tolerance make it an ideal choice.

When planting the Tree Cotoneaster, it is important to choose a location with well-draining soil and full sun or partial shade. It is also important to space the plants properly to ensure good air circulation and to prevent the growth of any fungal diseases. Once established, the Tree Cotoneaster is relatively low-maintenance and does not require much fertilizer or other care.

In conclusion, the Tree Cotoneaster is a beautiful and versatile species that is well-suited for gardens of all sizes and styles. With its low-maintenance, drought tolerance, and ability to attract wildlife, it is an excellent choice for gardeners looking to add some interest and beauty to their landscape.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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