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Late Cotoneaster

Cotoneaster lacteus

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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, 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, Willow-leaved Cotoneaster, Wineberry, Wood Avens, Wye Whitebeam, Yellow-flowered Strawberry
Evergreen shrub
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
5 metres tall
Cliffs, gardens, grassland, hedgerows, roadsides, rocky places, scrub, walls, wasteland, woodland.

White, 5 petals
The flowers can be white or pink. White are the most common.
Bright red berries, sometimes purple or black.
The large, broad, oval leaves are simple and entire. They are cherry-like and leathery in appearance and the veins are deeply indented. The leaves measure up to 6cm in length.
Other Names:
Milk Cotoneaster, Milkflower Cotoneaster.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Other Information


Cotoneaster lacteus, also known as milk cotoneaster, is a species of flowering plant in the rose family. It is native to China and is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant in gardens and parks. Milk cotoneaster is a deciduous shrub that grows to a height of about 6-8 feet. It has glossy, green leaves and clusters of small, white flowers that bloom in the summer. The plant is known for its attractive red berries, which appear in the fall and persist throughout the winter. Milk cotoneaster is easy to grow and is tolerant of a variety of soil conditions. It is a popular choice for use in hedges, as a ground cover, or as a specimen plant.


Late Cotoneaster, also known as Cotoneaster lacteus, is a beautiful and versatile shrub that is widely popular among gardeners and horticulturists. This deciduous shrub is a member of the Rosaceae family and is native to China and the Himalayas. With its attractive foliage and showy red berries, Late Cotoneaster is a great addition to any garden, especially during the autumn and winter months when its berries are most prominent.

One of the most attractive features of Late Cotoneaster is its leaves. The leaves are bright green and ovate in shape, growing up to 2 inches in length. They are also semi-glossy and change color in the autumn, turning brilliant shades of orange and red before falling off the plant. This provides an eye-catching contrast to the plant's red berries, which can be seen all over the shrub.

Late Cotoneaster produces clusters of small, white flowers in the spring that are loved by bees and other pollinators. These flowers are followed by clusters of bright red berries in the fall, which are loved by birds and other wildlife. The berries are a great source of food for these creatures, especially during the winter months when food is scarce.

This shrub is also incredibly easy to care for, making it an ideal choice for gardeners of all levels of experience. It grows best in well-drained soil and prefers full sun or partial shade. It is also drought tolerant and does not require much water once established. Late Cotoneaster is also resistant to pests and diseases, making it a low-maintenance option for busy gardeners.

In terms of its growth habits, Late Cotoneaster is a fast-growing shrub that can reach up to 8 feet in height and width. However, it can be easily pruned and shaped to maintain a smaller size if desired. It is also a great choice for hedgerows, as it grows well in groups and creates a dense, attractive screen.

Overall, Late Cotoneaster is a beautiful and hardy shrub that is sure to make a statement in any garden. Its attractive foliage, showy red berries, and low maintenance requirements make it a great choice for any gardener. Whether you're looking to add some autumn and winter interest to your garden, or simply want a beautiful and low-maintenance shrub, Late Cotoneaster is definitely worth considering.

Late Cotoneaster is also a great choice for landscaping and as an accent plant. It's perfect for use in rock gardens, as a border plant, or even as a small specimen tree. Its branches are strong and flexible, making it a great option for topiary designs. Its attractive appearance and versatility make it a popular choice for both residential and commercial landscapes.

Another great feature of Late Cotoneaster is that it is deer resistant. For those who live in areas where deer are a problem, this shrub is an excellent solution. It's also suitable for use in coastal gardens, as it is salt-tolerant and can withstand the harsh coastal winds and salt spray.

Finally, Late Cotoneaster is easy to propagate, making it a great option for those who want to grow their own plants. It can be propagated by taking cuttings in the summer or by layering in the spring. The shrub is also readily available for purchase at most garden centers and nurseries.

Late Cotoneaster is a versatile, beautiful, and low-maintenance shrub that is well-suited for a variety of garden styles and conditions. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or a beginner, this shrub is sure to be a great addition to your landscape. With its attractive foliage, showy red berries, and low maintenance requirements, it's a must-have for any gardener looking to add some autumn and winter interest to their garden.

In addition to its ornamental value, Late Cotoneaster has some practical uses as well. For example, its berries are edible and can be used to make jelly, jam, or wine. The berries are high in antioxidants and vitamins, making them a healthy addition to your diet. The shrub's wood is also strong and flexible, making it a great choice for basket-making or other craft projects.

Late Cotoneaster is also an environmentally friendly option for the garden. It's a great choice for those who want to attract wildlife to their gardens, as its berries are a valuable food source for birds and other wildlife. Additionally, it's a great choice for butterfly gardens, as its flowers attract pollinators and other beneficial insects.

In terms of garden design, Late Cotoneaster can be paired with other shrubs, perennials, and bulbs to create a diverse and colorful landscape. Its bright red berries are a great contrast to the green foliage of other plants, and its autumn foliage provides a stunning contrast to the greenery of other shrubs. Additionally, its showy berries are a great complement to the colorful blooms of spring bulbs, such as tulips, daffodils, and crocuses.

Finally, Late Cotoneaster is an ideal choice for those who want a low-maintenance garden. It's easy to care for, resistant to pests and diseases, and can grow well in a variety of conditions. Whether you're an experienced gardener or just starting out, this shrub is sure to be a great addition to your garden.

In conclusion, Late Cotoneaster is a beautiful, versatile, and low-maintenance shrub that is sure to make a statement in any garden. With its attractive foliage, showy red berries, and practical uses, it's a must-have for any gardener looking to add some autumn and winter interest to their landscape.


Late Cotoneaster filmed in Wigan, Lancashire on the 7th August 2022.


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Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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