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Willow-leaved Cotoneaster

Cotoneaster salicifolius

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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, Tree Cotoneaster, 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, Wineberry, Wood Avens, Wye Whitebeam, Yellow-flowered Strawberry
Evergreen shrub
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
3 metres tall
Gardens, grassland, hedgerows, roadsides, scrub, walls, wasteland, woodland.

White, 5 petals
White flowers with purple anthers, appearing inside flat-topped clusters. The inflorescence has between 10 and 50 flowers. 20 stamens.
Red berries with a touch of crimson, up to 5mm across. In fruit during October and November.
Dark green, shiny, willow-like leaves, blistered above. The lower surfaces of the leaves are greyish-green. 7 to 12 deeply impressed leaf veins. The leaves measure up to 10cm in length. Similar in appearance to Tree Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster frigidus) but with slimmer, willow-like leaves. Willow-leaved Cotoneaster has arching branches.
Other Names:
Willowleaf Cotoneaster.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Cotoneaster salicifolius, also known as willowleaf cotoneaster, is a species of flowering plant in the family Rosaceae. It is native to China, but is also grown as an ornamental plant in other parts of the world. The plant is a deciduous shrub that typically grows to a height of 2-4 meters. It has long, slender, willow-like leaves and clusters of small, white flowers that bloom in the spring. The plant is also known for its bright red berries, which are produced in the autumn and are attractive to birds. Willowleaf cotoneaster is often grown as a hedge or as a groundcover due to its low-growing habit and attractive foliage. It is hardy and can tolerate a range of soil types, but it prefers well-draining soil and full sun to partial shade.


Cotoneaster salicifolius, also known as Willow-leaved Cotoneaster, is a species of flowering shrub in the Rosaceae family. This plant is native to the mountains of Central and Western China, but it is widely cultivated in many other parts of the world. With its delicate beauty, fast growth, and low-maintenance requirements, Willow-leaved Cotoneaster is a perfect choice for your garden or landscape.


Willow-leaved Cotoneaster is a deciduous shrub that can grow up to 3 meters tall and 3 meters wide. The plant has slender, willow-like leaves that are glossy green and have a delicate, pendulous habit. During the late spring and early summer, the plant produces clusters of tiny, white, five-petaled flowers. The flowers are followed by glossy red berries that persist through the winter, adding a pop of color to the landscape.


Willow-leaved Cotoneaster is a hardy plant that is easy to grow and care for. It is tolerant of a wide range of soils, but prefers well-draining soils that are moist but not waterlogged. This plant is also very tolerant of drought conditions, making it an ideal choice for areas that receive low amounts of rainfall.

This shrub is also resistant to many common diseases and pests, making it a low-maintenance option for gardeners. Willow-leaved Cotoneaster is also an attractive plant to birds and other wildlife, who are attracted to its bright red berries.


Willow-leaved Cotoneaster is a versatile plant that can be used in a variety of different garden designs. It is commonly used as a specimen plant or as a focal point in the landscape. It can also be used as a hedge or screen, or planted in mass for a more naturalistic look.

In addition to its ornamental value, Willow-leaved Cotoneaster is also useful as a source of food for birds and other wildlife. The plant’s bright red berries are a favorite food for many species, and the plant provides important winter food for birds when other food sources are scarce.

Landscape Design with Willow-leaved Cotoneaster

Willow-leaved Cotoneaster is a versatile plant that can be used in a variety of different landscape designs. Whether you have a small suburban garden or a large estate, this shrub can be incorporated into your landscape in a number of creative ways. Here are a few design ideas to get you started:

  1. Border Planting: Willow-leaved Cotoneaster makes a great border plant, especially when planted in mass. This is a great way to create a low-maintenance hedge or screen that provides year-round interest.

  2. Rock Garden: This shrub is well-suited to rock gardens and other naturalistic landscapes. The plant’s delicate willow-like leaves and pendulous habit make it a perfect choice for this type of garden design.

  3. Mixed Border: Willow-leaved Cotoneaster can be combined with other shrubs and perennials to create a beautiful mixed border. For example, you could pair this shrub with ornamental grasses, perennials, and groundcovers for a naturalistic look.

  4. Wildlife Garden: Willow-leaved Cotoneaster is a great choice for wildlife gardens. The plant’s bright red berries are a favorite food of many birds and other wildlife, making it an ideal choice for gardeners who want to attract wildlife to their yards.

Caring for Your Willow-leaved Cotoneaster

Willow-leaved Cotoneaster is a low-maintenance shrub that is easy to care for. Here are a few tips to help you keep your plant healthy and looking its best:

  1. Watering: This shrub is drought-tolerant and can tolerate short periods of drought. However, it will benefit from regular watering, especially during prolonged dry periods.

  2. Pruning: Willow-leaved Cotoneaster does not require regular pruning, but it can benefit from occasional light pruning to maintain its shape. This can be done in the late winter or early spring, before new growth begins.

  3. Fertilizing: Willow-leaved Cotoneaster is not heavy feeder and does not require regular fertilization. However, if you want to encourage faster growth or improve the health of your plant, you can fertilize it with a slow-release fertilizer in the spring.

With its delicate beauty, fast growth, and low-maintenance requirements, Willow-leaved Cotoneaster is a perfect choice for your garden or landscape. Whether you are planting a mixed border, creating a wildlife garden, or simply adding a pop of color to your yard, this shrub is sure to impress.

Pests and Diseases

Willow-leaved Cotoneaster is a hardy plant that is resistant to many common pests and diseases. However, there are a few things to watch out for:

  1. Fire Blight: This is a bacterial disease that affects shrubs and trees in the Rosaceae family, including Cotoneaster. Symptoms include wilting and blackening of leaves and shoots. If you suspect that your plant has fire blight, you should remove infected plant material and dispose of it promptly to prevent the spread of the disease.

  2. Aphids: Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects that feed on the sap of plants. They can cause yellowing and wilting of leaves, and a sticky residue on the leaves and branches. To control aphids, you can use insecticidal soap or horticultural oil.

  3. Scale Insects: Scale insects are small, hard-shelled pests that feed on the sap of plants. They can cause yellowing and wilting of leaves, and a sticky residue on the leaves and branches. To control scale insects, you can use insecticidal soap or horticultural oil.

In general, keeping your Willow-leaved Cotoneaster healthy and well-maintained is the best way to prevent pest and disease problems. Regular watering, fertilizing, and pruning can help to keep your plant healthy and promote strong growth, making it less susceptible to pest and disease problems.


Willow-leaved Cotoneaster is a beautiful and low-maintenance shrub that is well-suited to a variety of garden designs. With its delicate willow-like leaves, clusters of white flowers, and bright red berries, this plant is sure to add beauty and interest to any landscape. Whether you are planting a mixed border, creating a wildlife garden, or simply adding a pop of color to your yard, Willow-leaved Cotoneaster is an excellent choice. With proper care and attention, this shrub can provide years of enjoyment and beauty in your garden.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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