Open the Advanced Search

Littleleaf Cotoneaster

Cotoneaster microphyllus

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.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.


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, 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:
150 centimetres tall
Cliffs, gardens, grassland, mountains, roadsides, rocky places, walls.

White, 5 petals
White, solitary flowers with spreading petals. 20 stamens. Dark violet anthers. Pollinated by flies and midges.
The fruit is a globular, coral red berry, about 7mm in diameter. The fruits ripen in October and November.
Small, glossy green, broadly elliptic leaves. Approximately 1cm in length.
Other Names:
Rockspray Cotoneaster.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Cotoneaster microphyllus is a dwarf shrub that is native to the Himalayas in China. It is a low-growing, evergreen plant that forms thick mounds of glossy, dark green foliage. The small leaves are accompanied by white, star-shaped flowers in the spring, and small, bright red berries in the fall. This shrub does best in full sun and well-drained soil, and is drought tolerant. It is an ideal choice for small landscapes and rock gardens, as well as for use as a ground cover. Its low maintenance and hardiness make it a popular choice for gardeners.


Littleleaf Cotoneaster, also known as Cotoneaster microphyllus, is a beautiful and versatile shrub that is native to China and the Himalayan region. This plant is widely appreciated for its delicate appearance, attractive foliage, and low maintenance requirements, making it an ideal choice for gardeners and landscapers alike.

The Littleleaf Cotoneaster is a small shrub that grows to a height of about 4 to 6 feet and a width of 3 to 4 feet. It is an evergreen plant that has glossy, dark green leaves that are small, oblong, and about 1 inch long. In the spring and summer, the Littleleaf Cotoneaster produces clusters of tiny, white flowers that are followed by bright red, round berries. These berries persist throughout the winter, providing a valuable food source for birds and other wildlife.

In addition to its attractive appearance, the Littleleaf Cotoneaster is also prized for its hardiness and low maintenance requirements. This plant is extremely adaptable and can thrive in a variety of soil conditions, including well-drained, sandy soils and heavy clay soils. It is also drought-tolerant and can handle some shade, making it a great choice for areas of the garden where other plants might struggle to survive.

One of the key benefits of the Littleleaf Cotoneaster is its ability to be used in a variety of landscape design styles. It is an excellent choice for rock gardens, as it can be planted in crevices and on slopes where other plants may not be able to grow. It is also a great choice for adding color and texture to garden beds and borders, or for use as a ground cover. Additionally, the Littleleaf Cotoneaster is well suited to be used as a specimen plant, as it can be trained into a compact, mounded form that makes a striking focal point in the garden.

Finally, the Littleleaf Cotoneaster is an excellent choice for gardeners looking for a low-maintenance plant that is both attractive and durable. It requires very little pruning and is not susceptible to many of the diseases and pests that can affect other plants. Additionally, it is not invasive, making it a great choice for gardeners who are concerned about protecting their local ecosystems.

In conclusion, the Littleleaf Cotoneaster is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a versatile and attractive plant that is easy to care for and can be used in a variety of landscape design styles. With its delicate appearance, attractive foliage, and low maintenance requirements, this plant is sure to be a valuable addition to any garden.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map