A prostrate, evergreen shrub, with slender creeping stems keeping close to the ground; young wood downy. Leaves obovate or oval, 3⁄4 to 11⁄4 in. long, 1⁄4 to 5⁄8 in. wide; margins incurved, apex usually rounded, downy on the lower surface when young, ultimately quite glabrous on both sides; stalk 1⁄8 to 1⁄4 in. long; veins in four to six pairs. Flowers solitary, occasionally in pairs, on downy stalks 1⁄4 in. long, pure white, 1⁄3 to 1⁄2 in. diameter; calyx downy, with broad triangular lobes. Fruit coral-red, globose or rather top-shaped, 1⁄4 in. wide with usually five nutlets.
Native of Central China; found by Henry near Ichang, and introduced in 1900 by Wilson from W. Hupeh, where it occurs at 5,000 to 7,000 ft altitude. It is quite hardy, and is very distinct among cotoneasters for its perfectly prostrate habit. Its fruits are brightly coloured, and the plant has proved useful as an evergreen carpet-shrub, also for covering sunny slopes, as it is very vigorous. It occurs wild on heaths and rocky ground.
cv. ‘Major’. – A more vigorous form with leaves 1 to 13⁄5 in. long. according to h. j. grootendorst (dendroflora, vol. 3, p. 21) it is often found under the erroneous name c. dammeri ‘radicans’.
var. radicans Schneid. – Leaves longer-stalked than in the type (petioles to about 1⁄4 in. long) and usually obovate; flowers on longer pedicels (to 3⁄5 in. long). Some plants grown under this name are typical C. dammeri; others are C. d. ‘Major’ (see above).
C. ‘Skogholm’. – A vigorous form with prostrate or serpentine branches making mats up to about 11⁄2 ft high. It is not free-fruiting, but makes a useful evergreen ground-cover. It is a seedling (possibly hybrid) of C. dammeri, raised in Sweden and put into commerce around 1950.