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Peking cotoneaster

Peking cotoneaster, often confused with hedge cotoneaster, is a large shrub for back of the border. Small pink flowers and reddish, persistent fruit attract birds and wildlife.

Botanical name:

Cotoneaster acutifolia

All common names:

Peking cotoneaster

Family (English):


Family (Botanic):


Tree or Plant Type:

  • Shrub

Native Locale:

  • Non-native

Landscape Uses:

  • Hedge,
  • Massing,
  • Mixed border,
  • Screen,
  • Specimen

Size Range:

  • Large shrub (more than 8 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,
  • Zone 8

Soil Preference:

  • Acid soil,
  • Alkaline soil,
  • Dry soil,
  • Moist, well-drained soil


  • Occasional drought,
  • Alkaline soil,
  • Clay soil,
  • Road salt

Seasons of Interest:

  • mid spring,
  • midsummer,
  • late summer,
  • early fall,
  • mid fall

Flower Color & Fragrance:

  • Inconspicuous,
  • Pink

Shape or Form:

  • Broad,
  • Multi-stemmed,
  • Round,
  • Thicket-forming,
  • Upright

Growth Rate:

  • Moderate

More Information:

Tree & Plant Care

A large shrub reaching 6 to 10 feet tall and wide.
Prefers well-drained soil in full sun to light shade.
Tolerant of poor soil, wind, pH adaptable, and aerial salt.
Prune after flowering to maintain shape.

Disease, pests, and problems

Leaf spots, canker, fireblight, scale, and spider mites

Native geographic location and habitat

Native to Mongolia, Northern and western Asia, and Eastern Himalaya

Attracts birds & butterflies

Song birds attracted to persistent fruit

Bark color and texture 

Gray to light brown. Older stems have a peeling bark.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Alternate, simple, 1 to 2 1/2 inches long,  elliptical leaf.
Dull green and slightly hairy.  Fall color is yellow to reddish.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Tiny, pinkish-white flowers in 2 inch clusters.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Small, 1/2 inch berry-like red fruit.



Location of Cotoneaster acutifolia (Peking cotoneaster) at the Arboretum