Cotoneaster frigidus leaves and fruit

Cotoneaster frigidus – leaves and fruit

Cotoneaster  is a genus of flowering plants in the rose family, native to temperate Asia, Europe and north Africa. It has  a strong concentration of different species in the mountains of southwestern China and the Himalayas. They are related to Hawthorns, Firethorns, Photinias and Rowans. Depending on the definition used, there are between 70 and 300 different species.

The majority of Cotoneaster species are shrubs from 0.5–5 metres tall, varying from ground-hugging prostrate plants to erect shrubs. A few, notably C. frigidus, are small trees up to 15 metres tall and 75 centimetres trunk diameter. The prostrate species are mostly alpine plants growing at high altitude (e.g. C. integrifolius, which grows at 3,000–4,000 metres in the Himalayas), while the larger species occur in scrub and woodland gaps at lower altitudes. Cotoneasters are very popular garden shrubs, grown for their attractive habit and decorative fruit. Many are cultivars, some of  hybrid origin; of these, some are of known parentage.

Cotoneaster franchetii

Cotoneaster franchetii

Cotoneaster horizontalis

Cotoneaster horizontalis

The name Cotoneaster derives from the old Latin cotoneus meaning Quince and aster probably a corruption of ad instar meaning ‘a likeness’ – so ‘Quince like’.

Other species names are:

C. adpressa = close, pressed-down growth or fruits closely pressed against the branch

C. applanata = the branches lie flat or in a plane

C. bullata = wrinkled, referring to the leaves

C. buxifolia = box (buxus) -leaved

C. congesta = crowded, the plant’s habit

C. divaricata =spread-out, forking , referring to the branches

C. franchettii = after Franchet, a French botanist

C.  frigida = cold,frosty, probably referring to its native habitat

C. harroviana = after G. Harrow, a nurseryman once of Coombe Wood Nursery

C. henryana = after Dr. Augustine Henry, a 19th century Chinese customs official and ‘plant hunter’

C. horiziontalis = horizontal, its growth habit

C. humifusa = spread on the ground

C. lacteus =  milky, probably referring to the milky white flowers (the ‘Late Cotoneaster’)

C. lucida = shining, referring to the leaves

C. microphylla = small – leaved

C. multiflora = many flowered

C. pannosa = woolly, the foliage

C. rotundifoilia = round leaved

C. salicifolia = willow (salix) leaved

C. simonsii = after Simons, (The ‘Himalayan Cotoneaster’ or ‘Simon’s Cotoneaster’)

Cotoneaster adpressus

Cotoneaster adpressus

Cotoneaster lacteus - flowers

Cotoneaster lacteus – flowers

Cotoneaster simonsii

Cotoneaster simonsii

Sources and further information:

Wikipedia

Encyclopedia Britannica

Growing Cotoneasters

Cotoneaster horizontalis

Cotoneaster lacteus

Cotoneaster simonsii

Quizzicals: answers to the two in Plantax 7…

  • Bird swearing – Crocus
  • Vasectomy for Dad – Parsnip

..and 2 more cryptic clues to the names of plants, fruit or veg…

  • Irish singer is growing worse
  • Tease Mr Disney

(thanks to Les Palmer, answers in the next Plantax!)

Old School Gardener

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