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Which Cotoneaster?
I hear that birds love these berries but have no idea what I should buy. I need a smallish shrub able to cope with clay (some organic matter in it) and shade or semi- shade. Is there such a thing?



This group of plants consists of ground covering, low growing shrubs such as C. dammeri, up to taller (16 to 20 feet) ones such as Cotoneaster 'Cornubia'. Some are evergreen or semi evergreen (those mentioned so far are in this group) and some, like Cotoneaster horizontalis, are deciduous. Probably the most reasonably sized one for the average garden is Cotoneaster franchetti, evergreen/semi evergreen, reaching 9 feet, or C. lacteus at 10 feet. All are fine with being cut/pruned to keep size/shape to a degree. Tolerant of most growing conditions. Note that C. franchetti has arching growth and isn't particularly dense, and can be kept at around 6 feet. The flowers on most Cotoneaster are small and relatively insignificant, but are much loved by bees. For highly visible, bright red berry clusters, C. 'Cornubia' is probably the best, but it does get large.

6 Oct, 2012


my personal favourite is small one that shows herringbone growth habit. I suspect that is horizontalis.

6 Oct, 2012


Thanks so much Bamboo and SBG for giving me the info. I can work from that. I should have said that it's the bee-loving qualities I'm interested in, not so much the berries. I kept overhearing people on my bus chatting about this shrub and made a mental note. I'm sure that my gardening co-travellers would be pleased that my earwigging has led me to this!

6 Oct, 2012


the bees love the flowers too. although they are very small flowers.

7 Oct, 2012

How do I say thanks?

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