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A deciduous, sometimes semi-evergreen shrub of erect, somewhat stiff habit, and up to 10 or 12 ft high; young branches covered with a dense, brown wool. Leaves arranged in opposite rows, 3⁄4 to 1 in. long, 1⁄3 to 5⁄8 in. diameter; oval, roundish, or somewhat lozenge-shaped, tapering equally towards both ends; dark green, glossy and glabrous above except for scattered silky hairs when young, paler and hairy beneath; stalks less than 1⁄8 in. long. Flowers white, 1⁄3 in. diameter, produced usually two to four together on very short woolly stalks from small twigs. Fruit scarlet, 1⁄3 to 2⁄5 in. long; about the size and shape of common haws.
Native of the Khasi Hills, Assam. The introduction of this shrub is not recorded, and for a long time its origin was doubtful. Its native home was not known for certain until 1886, when it was discovered by C. B. Clarke at Lailankote, in the Khasi Hills. It had, no doubt, been introduced by, and named after, a Mr Simons, who had collected largely in the Khasi Hills many years previously. C. simonsii is a handsome vigorous shrub, very suitable for grouping in shrubberies, where it is well able to take care of itself, and for hedging. It differs from distichus in having more flowers in a cluster.
The distribution of this species was given, in the current and earlier editions, as Khasi hills, Assam, but this is questionable. It was described in 1869 from a garden plant of unknown provenance, and its supposed origin from the Khasi hills rests on the identity of specimens collected by the botanist C. B. Clarke in that area in 1886. They are indeed a fairly good match with C. simonsii, but recent collections in the Himalaya have shown that plants agreeing much better with it occur in Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan. Clarke’s cotoneaster from the Khasi hills has in fact been separated from C. simonsii by the German botanist G. Klotz as C. khasiensis.