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Cotoneaster lacteus - January 13th 

A great evergreen berrying shrub! Cotoneaster lacteus holds its berries right through into the new year - regardless of weather conditions. Arching branches positively droop under the weight of the red fruit.

Cotoneaster lacteus should be on the list of flowering plants as well, as the dark green leaves (creamy yellow/white underneath with a downy almost felt like texture.) act as a good contrasting backdrop for the white flowers in summer. The flowers are typical of the Cotoneaster group - being umbels of small creamy white individual flowers.

It forms a rather large shrub - small tree even - which will grow quite happily to 3.5 - 4m, with a similar spread. It can be trimmed to shape when grown as a hedging plant, or it can also be grown as a wall/fence shrub with careful pruning. Without doubt though, it is best as a specimen shrub at the back of a large border - or in the lawn as a feature.

In the event of underplanting, bear in mind that well grown, Cotoneaster will clothe itself to ground level with its drooping arched branches. Dwarf bulbs are attractive if grown near the perimeter of its spread.

Cotoneaster Lacteus berries - bright redThe foliage is has deep veins, giving an added attraction, and whilst being basically evergreen, does tend to shed a few leaves in Autumn or Winter. The falling leaves turning bright orange or red before falling. This seems to be the case more, if this shrub is grown in full sun.

As with some other Cotoneasters, Cotoneaster lacteus is happy to be clipped as a semi formal hedge. Last clipping should take place in later August in this case.

 This cotoneaster is happy in sun or dappled shade - even a north facing wall/fence. It can also be grown as a 'pleached' feature, or even cordon trained up a solitary or a few well trained cordons.

Problems with Cotoneaster lacteus.

Rarely suffers from anything more than a few greenfly insofar as pests are concerned.

Honey fungus can be a problem if grown in an area where the disease exists.


Best propagated by semi ripe cuttings in late summer, or semi-ripe cuttings overwintered in a cold frame.

Seeds will be slow to germinate and may well take a couple of years to show through - unless stratified.


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