Cotoneaster glaucophyllus hort.

gray-leaf cotoneaster

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

The smoky gray-green foliage of Cotoneaster glaucophyllus hort. adds a sense of depth and mystery to the landscape. The low arching branches of this evergreen shrub form tight thickets making it an excellent hedge or barrier. Following its clusters of showy white flowers throughout spring, by late summer each branch sparkles with the bright ember red berries that glow on the bush until winter's end. Like many of its relatives, this cotoneaster has an iron constitution which tolerates the vulgarities of our harsh urban environment. It is tolerant of drought and poor soils and while it might be easy to relegate this plant to the worst part of the garden, it deserves so much better. The bold leaves of Mahonia or the red tones of Nandina would create lovely contrasts to Cotoneaster glaucophyllus hort.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: mounding shrub

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 3 ft. 0 in. (0.91 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 6 ft. 0 in. (1.83 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 4 ft. 0 in. (1.22 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 8 ft. 0 in. (2.44 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 7 to 9

Flower Color: white

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun to light or open shade

Water Requirements: drought tolerant when established

Seasonal Interest: masses of tiny spring flowers followed by red berries in autumn

Wildlife Associations: bees

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: bronze, gold, orange

Great Color Partners: silver, white, red, dark green

Culture Notes
This tough cotoneaster grows best in well drained soil, but it will tolerate sandy soil and clay. It will flower and fruit most heavily in full sun, but will still give a good show in light or open shade. It is fully drought tolerant once established. Almost no pruning is necessary to maintain its shrubby habit.