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Cotoneaster prostratus Baker

Modern name

Cotoneaster prostratus Baker


C. microphyllus var. uva-ursi Lindl.; C. rotundifolius Wall, ex Lindl.

An evergreen shrub with arching branches growing to 5 ft high, sometimes procumbent or prostrate; stems hairy at first, later glabrous. Leaves arranged spirally on the stem, oval or obovate to roundish, 12 to 45 in. long, dark green and usually glabrous above, sparingly hairy beneath, sometimes rounded at the apex, sometimes with a short, abrupt point; stalk 14 in. or less long. Flowers white, produced in clusters, usually two or three together, more rarely singly. Fruit red, rounded, 14 in. or a little more in diameter, with two nutlets.

Native of the Himalaya from Kashmir eastwards; and of S.W. China; introduced, according to Loudon, in 1825. It is allied to C. microphyllus but differs in its larger, broadly ovate to roundish leaves and usually two- to three-flowered inflorescence, and makes a larger, more robust plant.

var. lanatus (Jacques) C. rotundifolius var. lanatus (Jacques) Schneid.; C. lanatus Jacques; C. buxifolius Baker, not Lindl.; C wheeleri Hort. – In this variety the leaves are broad elliptic, densely hairy beneath; the cymes bear three to five flowers (up to eight on vigorous plants). In the form cultivated it is a very vigorous cotoneaster and one of the most useful, being pretty in habit, flower and fruit. It will grow to 10 ft high, forming a dense, impenetrable tangle of stems, from the main body of which stand out in every direction long, whip-like branches which give a very graceful and distinct effect. It is only necessary to tie the leading shoots to the fence until it is covered, and then leave the shrub to grow its own way; in this way it makes an admirable screen. This shrub used to be grown in gardens as “C. buxifolius” or “C. wheeleri”, though some of the plants so named may be typical C. prostratus. The true C. buxifolius is quite a different species (q.v.).


The name C. rotundifolius Lindl. admits of two interpretations. It is, in the majority of modern works, taken to refer to the species described here, which is an ally of C. microphyllus. But in previous editions of this work and, until recently, in the trade it was used for the species now more generally known as C. distichus, which is an ally of C. horizontalis and belongs to quite another section of the genus. Neither interpretation is indisputably correct or incorrect and, in view of this doubt, it seems better to reject the name C. rotundifolius as ambiguous. A note on this matter will be published elsewhere.

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

In the footnote on page 754 it was remarked that the name C. rotundifolius Lindl. has been applied to C. distichus (nitidus), as well as to the species described under the present heading. However, it is generally agreed that it belongs to the latter, and its misuse for the former, first by Baker and then by other authors, is not a sufficient reason for rejecting the name as ambiguous.



Other species in the genus