Cotonastro - Cotoneaster

Cotonastro - Cotoneaster

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The Cotoneaster

Cotonastro is a variety native to China and the Himalayas.
The genus counts species of deciduous or evergreen shrubs, with variable, erect or prostrate habit. The deciduous species are covered in bright colors in autumn, the evergreens are suitable for forming hedges and the prostrate ones for covering the ground.
THE cotoneaster are a genus, from the Rosaceae family, comprising more than 200 species mainly of shrubs (but also some trees) from all over the European continent up to the Far East.
The varieties used in the garden are almost all of Asian origin and, over the years, have been selected creating many cultivars that are each characterized by different habit, uses and aesthetics to the point that it is difficult not to find one that meets our needs and our taste .

In general this shrub is rarely sensitive to low temperatures. Moreover, for the Italian market, varieties and cultivars have been selected that are well suited to our climate and consequently it is really rare to encounter problems.They can therefore be safely grown from the plain to the mountain areas around 1000 meters above sea level. They support very well even -15 ° C, above all after having freed themselves. It may happen that late or prolonged frosts cause some branches to dry out, but it will be sufficient to intervene in spring, cleaning up the plant.It is also important to point out that the cotoneaster lives particularly well even in an urban environment, even if the air is rather polluted. Usually it does not suffer any kind of damage continuing to vegetate freely. This is also why it is increasingly used as a decorative shrub by municipal administrations.Planting

Perhaps this is one of the few occasions when these shrubs require a little care.
It must be emphasized that the root system of the cotoneaster loves very little to be handled due to its fibrous and delicate structure. The ideal is therefore to buy seedlings in pots and transplant them with great care, trying absolutely not to break the earthy bread.
The best period for planting is from November to February, avoiding work if the ground is too full of water or covered by snow. Indeed, it would be too difficult to create a stable hole and above all avoid dangerous air bubbles.
Indicate an ideal distance between one specimen and another is not simple, given the variability of portamento and dimensions. It is good in this case to refer to the label or advice of the retailer.
The best way to proceed is to dig a hole at least 40 cm deep (if possible already a few weeks before) and create a drainage layer on the bottom with gravel or other suitable material. On the bottom a good quantity of well seasoned organic soil conditioner will also be added. Insert the plant and then the soil compacting well and irrigating in abundance.
In the absence of rain for the first year it will be good to intervene at least once a week (checking however the state of the ground first) and then gradually thinning out.


The cotoneaster can be propagated mainly by semi-woody cutting in early spring. In addition to using a very draining soil, to have excellent results, it is advisable to dust the cuts with rooting powder.
The low species or ground cover can be multiplied rather easily also through offshoots, possibly in autumn. A long branch must be bent, inserted into the ground and held in place with a U-shaped hook. Incisions must be made at that part. The top must come out. Usually in spring you will notice a good amount of roots. It is therefore possible to intervene by cutting upstream and inserting the specimen directly on the ground or in a container.
The cotoneaster can also be reproduced by seed. However, this must be vernalized. In nature the process is favored by the passage through the digestive tract of the birds which makes the outer skins soft and moist.

Cotonastro - Cotoneaster: Species and cultivar

As we have said, the cotoneaster is a very heterogeneous genre and to choose the most suitable specimen for our green space it is good to first of all get accurate information.


first name





Uses and notes
bullata Up to 3 m
IV-VI, red

Rossi, VIII-X

Floribunda, macrophylla

Hedge, little tree
delsiana Up to 2 meters
IV-VI, cream

Single, red from IX

Major, elegans

divaricata Up to 1.80 cm
VI, pink

Ovoidals, reds

huepensis Up to 1.50 cm
Up to 1.50 cm

IV, in corymbs, white

Red, hemispherical, from August

Very beautiful flowering, for hedges
simosii Up to 4 meters
YOU; VII, in corymbs, white-pink

Spherical, red

Very beautiful for hedges
frigid Up to 6 meters
VI, white

Rotudifolia Up to 3 meters
VI, VII, pink

Pear, red, until spring
bacillaris Up to 5 meters
VI, white, corymbs of 5

Very dark purple, round, shiny

Sapling or hedges
multiflora More than 3 meters
IV, in groups, white



For hedges


first name





Uses and notes
salicifolia Up to 4.50 meters
VI, white

Light red

Floccosa, wrinkled

New leaves tomentose, for hedges
franchetii Up to 3 meters
VI, rose in corymbs


Yellowish branches, arched, for hedges
henryana Up to 4 meters
VI, white in bunches, abundant

Dark red, egg-shaped
lactea up to 4 meters
VI-VII, cream, corymbs

Small and red, very numerous
serotina Up to 3 meters
VII-VIII, white

Big, red, durable


first name





Uses and notes
dammeri Up to 30 cm
IV-VI, pink

microphylla Up to 50 cm
IV-VI, white


thymaefolia Up to 50 cm
VI, pink

Bright red, Ѕ cm in diameter

Great for rock garden
buxifolia Up to 40 cm
VI, white and pink

Round, red, large
horizontalis Up to 1 meter

Red, coral color

Silver variegated,

Red-orange leaves in autumn