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Hesse cotoneaster

Leaves and developing fruit of Hesse cotoneaster.

Hesse cotoneaster is a hybrid between Cotoneaster horizontalis and Cotoneaster adpressus var. praecox.  This low-growing cotoneaster was selected by The Morton Arboretum and introduced through the Chicagoland Grows™ introduction program.  Hesse cotoneaster makes a wonderful ground cover, drapped over a wall, or used in mass.

Botanical name:

Cotoneaster 'Hessei'

All Common Names:

Cotoneaster, Hesse cotoneaster

Family (English):


Family (Botanic):


Tree or Plant Type:

  • Ground cover,
  • Shrub

Native Locale:

  • Non-native

Landscape Uses:

  • Container,
  • Foundation,
  • Massing,
  • Mixed border

Size Range:

  • Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet)

Light Exposure:

  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

Hardiness Zones:

  • Zone 4,
  • Zone 5 (Chicago),
  • Zone 6,
  • Zone 7

Soil Preference:

  • Moist, well-drained soil


  • Occasional drought,
  • Alkaline soil

Season of Interest:

  • Late spring,
  • Early summer,
  • Mid summer,
  • Late summer,
  • Early fall

Flower Color & Fragrance:

  • Pink

Shape or Form:

  • Arching,
  • Creeping

Growth Rate:

  • Slow,
  • Moderate

More Information:

Size and Form

1 to 2 feet high and 5 to 6 feet wide; spreading habit.

Tree & Plant Care

Best in full sun to part shade in well-drained soil.
Avoid wet sites. 
Tolerant of drought once established.
Can be used as a container plant but will require winter protection.

Disease, pests and problems

Mites, cankers and leaf spots are possible problems.

Native geographic location and habitat

Hesse cotoneaster is considered a hybrid between Cotoneaster horizontalis and Cotoneaster adpressus var. praecox.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Simple, alternate, small leaves (about 1/2 inch long); dark green
Fall color is reddish purple

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Small, pinkish red flowers in later spring.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Small red fruit (pomes) that persist into winter.


Location of Cotoneaster 'Hessei' (Hesse cotoneaster) at the Arboretum