A modern reference to temperate woody plants, including updated content from this site and much new material, can be found at Trees and Shrubs Online.

Cotoneaster ambiguus Rehd. & Wils.

Modern name

Cotoneaster ambiguus Rehder & E.H.Wilson

A deciduous shrub up to 6 or 10 ft high; young shoots clothed with short hairs, some of which persist until the following year; buds very hairy. Leaves oval, ovate or diamond-shaped, tapering to a slender point, wedge-shaped at the base; 1 to 2 in. long, 13 to 1 in. wide; at first hairy, ultimately nearly glabrous above, densely woolly beneath; veins in usually four pairs; stalk 18 in. or less long, woolly. Flowers in corymbs, five to ten together, each about 14 in. wide, white; calyx and flower-stalk slightly downy; petals roundish obovate, 16 in. long; stamens fifteen to twenty. Fruit jet-black, shining, globose, 13 in. wide, downy at the top, containing two or three (rarely four or five) nutlets. Bot. Mag., t. 9106.

Native of W. Szechwan, China; discovered and introduced by Wilson in 1903 (Wilson-Veitch number 1723). This cotoneaster is most closely related to C. acutifolius, which is easily distinguished by its much less downy leaves, but more downy calyx. It was obtained for Kew from the Coombe Wood nursery and is quite hardy and bears fruit freely. I do not consider it in the front rank of cotoneasters, but this and the other black-fruited species make pleasing undergrowth for thin woodland and encourage bird-life. Flowers in June.



Other species in the genus