Cotoneaster microphyllus Lindl.

TSO logo

Sponsor this page

For information about how you could sponsor this page, see How You Can Help


Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Cotoneaster microphyllus' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online ( Accessed 2021-09-21.


(pl. apices) Tip. apical At the apex.
Flower-bearing part of a plant; arrangement of flowers on the floral axis.
Egg-shaped; broadest towards the stem.
Lying flat.
(var.) Taxonomic rank (varietas) grouping variants of a species with relatively minor differentiation in a few characters but occurring as recognisable populations. Often loosely used for rare minor variants more usefully ranked as forms.


There are no active references in this article.


Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Cotoneaster microphyllus' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online ( Accessed 2021-09-21.

An evergreen shrub of low, spreading, or even prostrate habit, rarely more than 2 to 3 ft high unless trained. Branches often slender but rigid, woolly when young. Leaves 14 to 12 in. long, half or less than half as wide; ovate or obovate, deep glossy green above, grey and woolly beneath, pointed, rounded or notched at the apex. Flowers white, 13 in. across, generally solitary (occasionally two or three). Fruit round, scarlet-red, 14 in. in diameter.

Native of the Himalaya and S.W. China; introduced in 1824. This pleasing evergreen is a near relation of C. prostratus and of C. conspicuus. The former is, however, a more robust shrub with larger, broadly ovate to almost rounded leaves and a usually two- or three-flowered inflorescence. The latter (treated by Yü as a variety of the present species) may be distinguished by its narrow elliptic to oblong leaves, and the larger flowers and fruit. Another close ally is C. congestus (q.v. for the marks of distinction).

C. microphyllus makes a pretty covering for sloping banks, forming eventually a dense, low thicket, though a really prostrate form of the more recently introduced C. conspicuus is to be preferred. Single plants make a pretty evergreen furnishing for the rock garden, but where space is limited var. thymifolius or C. congestus are more suitable.

f. melanotrichus (Franch.) Hand.-Mazz.

C. buxifolius f. melanotrichus Franch

Franchet made this forma out of a herbarium specimen on which the leaves were covered beneath with black hairs. However, there is little doubt that this peculiarity was simply due to a fungus. Plants in cultivation as “C. melanotrichus” are either C. microphyllus or the var. cochleatus.

var. cochleatus (Franch.) Rehd. & Wils.

C. buxifolius f. cochleatus- Franch. C. cochleatus (Franch.) Klotz

A more strictly prostrate and compact variety with obovate or oval leaves rounded or notched at the apex, hairy beneath like the shoots when quite young. Native of the Himalaya from Nepali eastward, and of China. It was given an Award of Merit in 1931 for the beauty of its brightly coloured fruits.

var. thymifolius (Lindl.) Koehne

C. thymifolius Lindl

A dwarf or prostrate close-habited shrub, with numerous rigid branches. Leaves narrower than in the type, and made to appear more so by the curling under of the margins. Besides being narrower, they also differ in being uniformly blunt at the apex and broadest towards the end. Fruit and flower as in the type, but smaller.Native of the Himalaya at high elevations. In earlier editions the author remarked that this plant, then treated as a species, was perhaps merely an alpine form of C. microphyllus, smaller in all its parts, and the status it now assumes is in conformity with that view. But his warning must be repeated – that the close, tight, bright-leaved evergreen known in gardens as C. thymifolius may not breed true from seed and should be propagated from cuttings.